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 September 9, 2016, the Ministry of Health received seven thousand three hundred and forty three (7,343) notifications for the zika virus of which five thousand five hundred and twenty nine (5,529) or seventy-five percent (75%) fit the case definition for Zika and were classified as “Suspected Zika”.
There were ninety-one (91) confirmed cases. The confirmed cases were reported from the parishes of St Catherine (13), St Thomas (10), Clarendon (7), St. Mary (3), Kingston & St. Andrew (40), Trelawny (1), St. James (4), Manchester (3), St. Ann (2), Portland (2), Westmoreland (1) and five (5) cases with unknown addresses.
Zika and Pregnancy
There were five hundred and twenty-one (521) cases of suspected Zika virus infection in pregnant women reported. Thirty six (36) of these suspected cases have tested positive.
Neurological Complications of Zika Virus Infection
There were one hundred and eighteen (118) notifications for Guillain Barre (paralysis) Syndrome (GBS); twenty two (22) of these fit the case definition for GBS based on clinical signs, symptoms and investigation results and were deemed suspected cases. Three (3) were zika positive.