Month: July 2016
On February 1, 2016 the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Zika virus a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. This designation is reserved for public health crises which will have global reach. The first case of zika virus in Jamaica was confirmed on January 29, 2016.
Cases of zika virus in Jamaica
As at July 22, 2016, the Ministry of Health received four thousand seven hundred and four (4,704) notifications for the zika virus of which three thousand two hundred and ninety four (3,294) or seventy percent (70%) fit the case definition for Zika and were classified as “Suspected Zika”.
There are fifty five (55) laboratory confirmed cases. The confirmed cases were reported from the parishes of St Catherine (9), St Thomas (5), Clarendon (4) and Kingston & St. Andrew (25), Trelawny (1), Manchester (1), St. Ann (1) and nine (9) cases with unknown addresses.
The most frequently reported symptoms among suspected cases were fever, rash and joint pain broken down as follows:
Symptom Number of cases Percentage
Fever 1540 72%
Rash 1127 53%
Joint pain/stiffness 856 40%
Headache 810 38%
Conjunctivitis (Red eyes) 387 18%
Muscle pain 330 15%
Cough 261 12%
Vomiting 244 11%
Back pain 233 11%
Among confirmed cases the most frequently reported symptoms were rash, fever and headache broken down as follows:
Symptom Number of Cases Percentage
Rash 20 83%
Fever 15 63%
Headache 10 42%
Joint pain/stiffness 9 38%
Conjunctivitis (Red eye) 5 21%
Muscle pain 5 21%
Cough 3 13%
Back pain 3 13%
Vomiting 0 0%
Zika and Pregnancy
There were three hundred and fifteen (315) cases of suspected Zika virus infection in pregnant women. Eleven (11) of these suspected cases have tested positive.
Neurological Complications of Zika Virus Infection
There were seventy one (71) notifications for Guillain Barre (paralysis) Syndrome (GBS); ten (10) of these fit the case definition for GBS based on clinical signs, symptoms and investigation results and were deemed suspected cases. Two (2) were zika positive.