Brazil’s Health Ministry says 424 people have been infected with yellow fever in the largest outbreak the country has seen in years. Of those, 137 have died. An update published Thursday said that more than 900 other cases are under investigation.
Governments have been using various tools to fight the spread of the Zika virus in Latin America: fumigation, spraying of insecticides and even a plan to distribute mosquito repellents to athletes during the upcoming Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
The first known case of Zika virus transmission in the United States was reported in Texas on Tuesday by local health officials, who said it likely was contracted through sex and not a mosquito bite, a day after the World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued travel alert for people traveling to the Caribbean and other areas that have confirmed transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.
Jamaica's Ministry of Health is urging people to be more vigilant and to clean up their environment and destroy mosquito breeding sites, in light of the announcement by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) that the Zika virus has been detected in a Caribbean Community (CARICOM) nation.
Following reports of suspected Zika virus in Brazil, the health ministries of several Caribbean countries have issued advisories for the mosquito borne viral disease.On Thursday, the Jamaica Health Ministry issued an epidemiological alert after the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) noted the potential spread of this arbovirus across territories where the vectors (Aedes) are present.
The Chikungunya outbreak which continues to affect thousands of Caribbean residents since it first appeared in St. Martin last year has been relatively self-limiting in the United States, due to the fact that the current strain only spreads through the Aedes egypti mosquito vector, which is uncommon on the US Eastern seaboard.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says the number of new cases of the Chikungunya in the Caribbean increased by nearly 38,000 last week with the Dominican Republic having the most cases.
The viral mosquito-borne disease, Chikunguna, has been confirmed in three counties of the state of Florida. According to the Florida Department of Health, the women who recently travelled to the Caribbean include a 29-year-old from Broward County.
The head of the Caribbean Public Health Authority (CARPHA), Dr James Hospedales, has declared the Chikungunya virus has reached epidemic proportions in the Caribbean. The mosquito-borne illness was first detected in the Caribbean in December 2013, in St Martin, and last week Antigua and St Vincent and the Grenadines became the latest countries to declare an outbreak.