(ZIZ News) — With confirmed reports of outbreaks in other parts of the world, the ministries of health on both St. Kitts and Nevis are continuing to monitor for MERS and ZIKA viruses.
A press release issued by the Office of the Minister of State with responsibility for Health, the Hon. Wendy Phipps stated that there is no need for alarm or panic, as there are no known cases in the Federation.
It said however, that response measures are in place and are being updated and strengthened in conjunction with the OECS Commission, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and the World Health Organization (WHO).
MERS, or the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, is caused by a corona virus which is spread among humans by coughing and sneezing. The virus is not spread by insects and rodents.
As there is no vaccine or medication cure for MERS at this time, persons are being asked to take simple preventative measures which include covering one’s cough and sneeze with tissue or a handkerchief; and regular hand-washing with soap and water.
Meantime, the ZIKA virus infection is an arbo-virus transmitted by the bite of Aedes Egypti Mosquito, the same mosquito that transmits Dengue and Chikungunya.
According to the Ministry of Health, affected persons tend to have mild to moderate symptoms such as fever, painful leg swelling and reddish eyes for four to seven days. There is also no vaccine or medication cure.
The Ministry wants people to search their homes, yards, nearby empty lots and ghauts for mosquito breeding sites and destroy them.