At a media conference held today Friday, January 29, 2016 Minister of Health, the Honourable Terrence Deyalsingh announced that he would now be treating the Zika virus as a public health emergency. This declaration means that resources meant to handle an actual or potential public health crisis have now been released to address and manage this threat.
It is important to note that at this time, there are no confirmed cases of the Zika Virus in Trinidad.
This stance is being taken because of the spread of the virus across the Caribbean and Latin America. Additionally, the native Aedes aegypti mosquito population in Trinidad and Tobago which is responsible for spreading Zika means that the arrival in this country is inevitable.
This more robust approach to treating the threat of mosquito borne diseases will involve collaboration with the Ministries of Local Government and National Security to increase duties of fogging, spraying and information dissemination. While the Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago works at managing this threat, the public is also reminded of their part in dealing with mosquito borne diseases.
1. Dispose of all unwanted containers/items that may collect water.
2. Cover water barrels, drums or buckets with a tight fitted lid.
3. Keep your drains and guttering clean.
4. Empty and scrub the sides of water vases.
5. Wear clothing to cover your arms and legs.
6. Apply insect repellent to exposed skin.
7. Sleep under a mosquito bed-net.
Interestingly enough, there have been confirmed deaths due to the H1N1 virus yet the minisry has not made the same declaration in terms of the more deadly virus. Zika victims currently do not necessarily show symptoms. However, there are other effects including affecting unborn children in pregnant women.
View our previous article on the virus to learn more on: http://triniscene.com/article/451