The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment has beefed up its plans in an effort to mitigate any outbreak of the mosquito borne, Zika virus, here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

This follows confirmation from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) last Thursday, that five cases of the virus have been recorded in a territory within Caricom.

The Ministry of Health says in a release that it is being very vigilant, as earlier this year suspected cases of the mosquito-borne disease were reported in Brazil and the Dominican Republic.

The Ministry is appealing to persons to inspect their homes and yards weekly, and to eliminate potential breeding sites indoors and outdoors by keeping water drums and barrels tightly covered, and throwing out stagnant water from flower vases, old tires, and other containers that might act as breeding sites.

Zika is a viral disease, transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is also the insect vector for dengue and chikungunya. The symptoms are also very similar to these diseases and include fever, muscle and joint pain, headache, nausea, and rash.

There is no vaccine or treatment for Zika and symptoms last approximately four to seven days. Complications are rare and no deaths due to Zika have ever been recorded.

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