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TCIG increase emergency funding towards the management of Zika

Providenciales, TCI, September 19, 2016 – The Turks and Caicos Government recently approved funding in the sum of $500k from the contingency fund towards the management of Zika in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Approximately $80k will be used for promotion and awareness initiative by Health Promotion and Advocacy Unit while approximately $250k will be used for street cleaning by Public Works Department. The balance will be used by Environmental Health Department for staff support and other resource needs.

In an effort to minimize the spread of Zika, the Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services between the period February to August 2016
a)      have removed a total 402 derelict vehicles and properly disposed the same in a manner to reduce these vehicles from servicing as breeding sites:
  1. b)      On the Island of North and Middle Caicos, conducted;
  • 557 Premises Inspection
  • 10 Island-wide and community clean up initiatives
  • 179 Swamp Inspection and treatment
  • 52 fogging frequency

 

  1. c)       On the Island of Providenciales
  • 515 Premises Inspection
  • 20 Island-wide and community clean up initiatives
  • 182 Swamp Inspection and treatment
  • 134 fogging frequency

 

  1. d)      On the Island of South Caicos
  • 223 Premises Inspection
  • 7 Island-wide and community clean up initiatives
  • 67 Swamp Inspection and treatment
  • 57 fogging frequency

 

  1. e)      On the Island of Salt Cay
  2. 74 Premises Inspection
  3. 4 Island-wide and community clean up initiatives
  4. 53 Swamp Inspection and treatment
  5. 64 fogging frequency

 

  1. f)       On the Island of Grand Turk
  1. 778 Premises Inspection
  2. 7 Island-wide and community clean up initiatives
  3. 113 Swamp Inspection and treatment
  4. 162 fogging frequency
  5. 56 Mosquito Repellent distributed to resident

 

The Minister of Health, Agriculture and Human Services and Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands Hon. Dr. Rufus Ewing wish to advise residence and tourist alike to use approved repellents when outdoors. To minimize the risk and further spread of the Zika virus, the TCI communities are asked to take immediate steps to stop Zika by eliminating all breeding and potential breeding sites.

 The Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services, advises the general public that we have just received the results from the CARPHA Laboratories of an additional three confirmed cases of Zika virus infection found in TCI, bringing the total to eleven cases. The Ministry wishes to inform the public that every precautionary measure is being taken, as we continue to enhance prevention and control measures.

Zika is a viral illness, which is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes aegypti mosquito. This mosquito is found in the TCI. Most persons with Zika are not aware that they have the illness and may not have any symptoms.  Symptoms of Zika are similar to Dengue and Chikungunya and appear between four to seven days after someone has been bitten by an infected mosquito.  These symptoms include mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis (also known as pink eye), muscle or joint pain, and general malaise. There is no specific medication to treat Zika and there are currently no vaccines to prevent the illness.

Zika virus can cause Microcephaly in the unborn foetus of a pregnant woman. Pregnant women should take special precautions to ensure that they are not bitten by mosquitoes. Extra special precautions should be taken when travelling to affected areas and countries. Persons are advised to adopt safer sexual practices e.g the use of condoms during sexual activity; this includes pregnant women for the duration of their pregnancy.

If you feel sick and think that you may have Zika consult a healthcare professional, especially if you have a fever. If you have travelled, make sure to tell your health provider about your travel. Use acetaminophen or paracetamol to treat fever and pain, get lots of rest and drink plenty of liquids.

It is important to note that the Zika virus will be in a person’s blood who is infected with Zika for the first week of infection. The virus can be passed on to other mosquitoes if they bite you while you are carrying the virus. Therefore, be especially careful to prevent mosquito bites during the first week to avoid spreading the disease.

For more information, contact the Health of Ministry of Health, Agriculture and Human Services on 3383061 or 3383058

 

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