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Cayman Islands: 2016 Zika

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  • Pathfinder
    Cayman Islands reports 1st pregnant woman with Zika

    By: Staff The Associated Press Published on Thu Sep 29 2016

    GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands — The Cayman Islands is reporting its first case of a pregnant woman infected with Zika.

    The government says it has a total of 26 confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne virus, including 17 contracted locally.

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  • tetano
    Cayman Islands reports second locally transmitted Zika infection

    Two people have contracted the Zika virus locally in the Cayman Islands, the health department said on Tuesday, bringing the total number infected by the virus in the Caribbean territory to eight.
    A woman living in Cayman's capital George Town first reported her symptoms in July, and a sample sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency for testing came back positive, the department said in a statement.
    She is not believed to have traveled to any countries in which Zika is present.
    Late on Monday, the health department announced the first known case of Zika contracted on the islands, by a man who had also not traveled to affected countries. Six other people have contracted the virus overseas and returned home carrying the infection.

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  • tetano
    Cayman Islands reports first locally transmitted Zika case: government

    GEORGE TOWN – The first locally contracted case of the Zika virus has been confirmed in the Cayman Islands, the Caribbean nation's health department said.
    The patient, a man, reported the first symptoms in late July and a sample was sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency for testing. He had not traveled to any countries in which Zika is present, the department said in a statement late on Monday.

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  • Shiloh

    Fourth case of zika confirmed in the Cayman Islands
    Published on August 5, 2016

    GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands -- Public health officials in the Cayman Islands have confirmed a fourth case of imported zika virus contracted by a returning resident.

    Acting medical officer of health Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez said the female patient travelled from 4 to 8 July to a country where there is an outbreak of zika. She reported onset of symptoms beginning 14 July when she visited the Health Services Authority on 16 July.

    Williams-Rodriguez added that there is no evidence of local transmission of zika in the Cayman Islands to date...

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  • Pathfinder
    GM Mosquito Release Delayed


    Mosquitoes being destroyed

    Dr. Renaud Lacroix of Oxitec destroys a batch of mosquitoes by placing them in the freezer.

    Press Release Categories:
    MON, JULY 18, 2:21 PM

    The launch of additional mosquito controls to protect Cayman Islands residents and visitors from Zika, dengue and chikungunya has been delayed by legal action from an objector to the project.

    The controls, which involve a pioneering technique using genetically modified, non-biting sterile male mosquitoes, were due to begin in West Bay on Thursday, 14 July 2016.

    The “Friendly Aedes aegypti Project”, is being carried out by MRCU in collaboration with biotechnology company Oxitec. However, following a court stay - a legal proceeding causing a temporary halt in the project - the release date has been delayed.

    “Two weeks ago we had our first two confirmed imported cases of Zika, and last week we had another confirmed imported case, making it more urgent than ever that we use all the tools at our disposal to provide vector control,” said Cayman Islands Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) Director, Dr. Bill Petrie. “It is therefore regrettable that there is any delay to this project which is being launched to deal with a public health imperative.”

    The “Friendly” Aedes aegypti males will seek out the wild female Aedes aegypti and, when they have offspring, the progeny will die before reaching adulthood.

    This limits the population of Aedes aegypti, helping to reduce the risk of viral transmission among people living in the area.

    Zika, along with other viruses, is spread by the day-biting Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is an invasive species to the Cayman Islands. The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed Zika can cause the birth defect microcephaly, and the virus is also linked to other serious medical conditions such as Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which can lead to total paralysis.

    Dengue and chikungunya are also a serious threat to public health, with young children, the elderly and those with underlying medical conditions most at risk.
    These viruses can also lead to a number of neurological disorders including Guillain-Barré Syndrome, acute myelitis, and meningoencephalitis.

    The technique is recommended by the World Health Organization as a tool to fight Zika,” said Dr. Petrie. “One of the overarching responsibilities of the Ministry of Health is to protect the health and well-being of residents and visitors to the Cayman Islands. As a government agency, MRCU is tasked with controlling the dangerous Aedes aegypti mosquito population, using the best arsenal at our disposal, to ensure this happens.”

    The genetic modification technique developed by Oxitec has also undergone exhaustive safety testing and evaluation by teams of scientists around the world.

    "Understandably, the deferral in launching the Oxitec project for the Cayman Islands is met upon with concern in relation to our obligation to prioritise means to protect the health, safety and well-being of all residents and visitors alike,” said Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez. “That being said, I remain confident in the system of justice and it is my hope that both legally and scientifically all agencies will be permitted to move forward in implementing this worthwhile project.”

    The treatment area in West Bay comprises 300 acres between Watercourse Road, Powell Smith Lane, Rev. Blackman Road and Hell Road. It was chosen for the first phase of treatment as the location is at high risk of mosquito-borne diseases.

    Oxitec is also currently deploying the technique operationally in an area of 65,000 people in Brazil, a country severely affected by the Zika virus.
    The safety and efficiency of the technique was demonstrated through field releases in East End, Grand Cayman, in 2009 and 2010, as well as Brazil and Panama. The Aedes aegypti population was reduced by more than 90 per cent in the areas where these releases took place. More than 150 million “Friendly” Aedes aegypti mosquitoes have been released to date.

    The proactive project is being integrated with existing MRCU control methods which include the use of chemical and bacterial insecticides to kill Aedes aegypti.

    Earlier this year, WHO recommended pilot deployment of the Oxitec technique, under operational conditions, to respond to the Zika crisis which, in February, was declared an international public health emergency.


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  • Pathfinder
    started a topic Cayman Islands: 2016 Zika

    Cayman Islands: 2016 Zika

    Cayman remains Zika free as suspect cases negative

    Cayman News | 04/07/2016 |

    (CNS): The test results of threes suspected Zika virus cases sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), were negative the Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr Samuel Williams-Rodriguez, has confirmed while a fourth was inconclusive as the test fell outside the timeline testing criteria. The test results were also all negative for dengue and chikungunya. As the virus continues to be one of the region’s most pressing health concerns having a negative impact on tourism Cayman has so far remain free of the virus but health officials are urging the public to remain vigilant.

    “While the results have yielded negative, with the regional outbreak in mind, we should not be complacent and medical personnel should remain on high alert to look for any imported cases,” said Dr. Williams-Rodriguez.

    The four suspect cases last month involved three residents and one visitor all of which had symptoms consistent with Zika. Three of the four people from whom samples were taken had travelled to countries experiencing a Zika outbreak but the fourth had no travel history.