No new Zika cases since May – Boyce

The worst of the Zika virus outbreak appears to be over, with Minister of Health John Boyce reporting that since reaching a peak in January, there has not been a single new confirmed case since May.

Boyce told a workshop on Clinical Management of Neurological Complications Related with Zika Virus Infection that since the first Zika cases were confirmed in early 2016, there have been 19 confirmations altogether and 502 suspected cases.

He said the number of both suspected and confirmed cases peaked around the end of January and that new cases had significantly fallen off since.

However, the minister reminded Barbadians that not all cases had been reported, a suggestion that there were more than the 19 cases.

Giving further assurance that ministry officials were in control of the situation, Boyce said the number of suspected cases had fallen from a high of 60 per week to fewer than five per week.

Boyce also disclosed that Dengue fever saw a similar peak in cases at the end of January and a significant fall-off since.

The Member of Parliament for Christ Church South disclosed that various activities, including aggressive vector control, had been conducted in order “to prevent, monitor and manage the impact of Zika locally”.

Boyce said available indicators were consistent with a decrease in mosquito activity since January this year, but warned that there was the likelihood of increased activity during the rainy season.

He said every effort was being made by his ministry to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds. 

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