Cayman has registered its second locally transmitted Zika case in two days as public health officials announced that a George Town woman, previously classified as an imported case, had actually contracted the virus on island.
On Tuesday (9 August) acting Medical Officer of Health Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, through a media statement, announced the second locally transmitted Zika Virus case.
The patient, a female who resides in George Town, reported an onset of symptoms on 10 July 2016.
She visited a private medical office on 12 July, 2016, and was referred to Cayman Islands Hospital where a sample was taken and sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing.
“No travel history has been noted for this individual to any of the countries where there is an outbreak, thus suggesting Zika was acquired locally,” the statement said.
This means, according to Dr Williams Rodriquez, that as of Tuesday, 9 August the Cayman Islands now has eight (8) confirmed Zika virus cases, six (6) of which were imported and two (2) which were locally acquired.
The acting Medical Officer’s announcement of the new locally transmitted case came one day after the country was advised that the first locally transmitted case, a George Town man, had contracted the virus in Cayman.
The male patient reported an onset of symptoms on 25 July 2016 and visited a private medical office on 26 July 2016, according to a statement on Monday evening. He was referred to Cayman Islands Hospital where a sample was taken and sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for testing.
“No travel history has been noted for this individual to any of the countries where there is an outbreak, thus suggesting Zika was acquired locally,” the release stated.
In Tuesday’s statement announcing the new case, Dr Williams-Rodriguez explained that further investigation into the report received from Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) revealed the second case of locally transmitted Zika virus.
“This was previously included in the number classified as imported cases,” he said in the statement.
Globally, as at 3 August 2016, 68 countries and territories have reported evidence of mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission. Currently the main outbreak regions refer to South and Central America, the Caribbean and Oceania (Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia only).
The United States of America reported local mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission for the first time on 29 July, 2016, in Miami Dade and later in Broward; Cuba reported two cases of locally acquired Zika in the city of Hoguin on 3 August, and Vietnam reported one case of locally-acquired Zika virus in Phu Yen Province.
The World Health Organization has concluded that, overall, the global risk assessment has not changed. Zika virus continues to spread geographically to areas where competent vectors are present. Although a decline in cases of Zika infection has been reported in some countries, or in some parts of countries, vigilance needs to remain high. At this stage, based on the evidence available, there is no overall decline in the outbreak.
Last month Cayman deployed genetically modified mosquitoes from Oxitec, in collaboration with the Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU), in a bid to curb the growing population of the disease carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito. The project kicked into high gear this week in West Bay with the release of 150,000 mozzies (genetically modified mosquitoes).
For more advice on mosquito control, contact MRCU on 949-2557 in Grand Cayman, or 948-2223 on Cayman Brac; and DEH on 949-6696 in Grand Cayman, or 948-2321 in Cayman Brac.
For further information on Zika, please contact the Public Health Department at 244-2648 or 244-2621.