USVI reports three new zika cases

The US Virgin Islands Department of Health (DOH) has reported three new cases of zika virus in the territory. According to the weekly surveillance report, there are 29 confirmed positive cases in the territory, 12 cases on St Thomas, 16 on St. Croix and one on St John. Currently, one pregnant woman has been confirmed positive; a total of 727 pregnant women in the USVI have had a zika test.
Additionally, 22 cases of dengue have been confirmed; there are five new cases on St Croix and two new cases on St Thomas.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), a man with zika can transmit the virus to his sex partner(s) through sexual intercourse, including vaginal and anal sex, and likely, oral sex. The CDC reports that at this time there is no evidence that a woman with zika can transmit the virus to her sex partners, and there is no evidence that zika can be transmitted through deep kissing. As such, the DOH is encouraging that condoms ought to be used during sexual intercourse.

The Health Commissioner, Dr Michelle S. Davis, emphasized the need for everyone to work together to prevent the spread of zika in the USVI.

“While there is no vaccine for zika, we are encouraging all pregnant women and anyone exhibiting symptoms of zika to take advantage of the free zika services being offered by the department of heath, to protect ourselves and our families from the potentially devastating health effects of this virus,” she said.

In support of the efforts to prevent the increase of zika cases, the DOH is increasing its efforts to educate the public about ways of prevention, through community outreach efforts and public service announcements (social media, radio, online news outlets and newspaper), targeting residents throughout the territory.

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