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Steep rise in suspected Zika cases

There has been a dramatic jump in the number of suspected cases of Zika here. However health officials said there has not been a rise in the number of confirmed cases.

Acting Senior Medical Officer for Environmental Health and Surveillance Dr Arthur Phillips today revealed that there were 268 suspected cases, the majority of which had not been tested.

Dr Arthur Phillips

Dr Arthur Phillips

“We would have started seeing cases of the Zika virus in late 2015. So far we still have seven confirmed cases based on the reference laboratory testing function based at the Caribbean Public Health Agency [in Trinidad]. We have been tracking suspected cases, these are individuals who would not have been tested but whose signs and symptoms fit with the picture associated with Zika. Currently we have 268 suspected cases that have been drawn to the attention of the Ministry of Health,” Dr Phillips told journalists.

The Ministry of Health rolled out a mosquito eradication campaign on February 15, with two groups of health inspectors in the north and south of the island working to eradicate mosquito breeding sites.

Principal Environmental Health Officer Ronald Chapman said the officials had inspected 4,944 and had discovered breeding groups in about four per cent of those homes.

Chapman also disclosed that his department was in the process of establishing a fish rearing plant at the Graeme Hall Swamp and would make fish available to residents of wetland districts as part of the mosquito eradication drive.

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