Four Zika Cases Con­firmed in Ba­hamas; 26 Preg­nant Women Test Pos­i­tive in St Lu­cia

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

Health of­fi­cials in the Ba­hamas said on Mon­day that four cases of zika in­fec­tion in to­tal have been con­firmed on New Prov­i­dence. Of­fi­cials said there are 83 sus­pected cases. Of that group, eight are preg­nant women. The first case was re­ported on Au­gust 10.

Mean­while, in Saint Lu­cia, the min­istry of health is mon­i­tor­ing 26 preg­nant women who have tested pos­i­tive for the zika virus dis­ease.

Health of­fi­cials in Saint Lu­cia are also presently mon­i­tor­ing a pa­tient di­ag­nosed with Guil­lain-Barré Syn­drome, who is sus­pected of hav­ing re­cently had zika virus dis­ease but has not yet been con­firmed. The pa­tient, an adult male, pre­sented with weak­ness in his legs and dif­fi­culty walk­ing, af­ter suf­fer­ing from zika-like symp­toms. He has been treated ac­cord­ing to stan­dard pro­to­col and has re­ceived im­mune ther­apy to halt the pro­gres­sion of the paral­y­sis.

Ba­hamas min­is­ter of health Dr Perry Gomez said, “All pa­tients have been treated for as­so­ci­ated symp­toms and are do­ing well. Based on the his­to­ries re­ceived from the cases, it has been de­ter­mined that there is a mix of travel and lo­cal trans­mis­sion.”

Pri­mar­ily the Aedes ae­gypti mos­quito trans­mits Zika virus. Other modes of trans­mis­sion have been iden­ti­fied in­clud­ing pass­ing the zika in­fec­tion from mother to baby and sex­ual trans­mis­sion.

Zika dur­ing preg­nancy has been linked to mi­cro­cephaly in new­borns.

As there is no spe­cific treat­ment or vac­cine avail­able for zika virus in­fec­tion, health of­fi­cials said the best form of pro­tec­tion is pre­ven­tion.

Preven­ta­tive mea­sures include avoid­ing mos­quito bites, elim­i­nat­ing mos­quito breed­ing sites and, to pre­vent sex­ual trans­mis­sion, the cor­rect use of con­doms.

The Aedes ae­gypti mos­quito is the in­sect vec­tor for the zika virus.

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