The Public Health Department is providing details on the third confirmed imported case of the Zika virus in the Cayman Islands, which was announced on Thursday, 14 July 2016.
The patient, a female resident, travelled June 11 to 19 to a country where there is an outbreak of Zika virus. She reported onset of symptoms beginning on 21 June when she visited the Health Services Authority on 26 June.
Since January of this year, 71 cases have been investigated for Zika, chikungunya and dengue. There is still no evidence of local transmission of Zika in the Cayman Islands.
As of 20 July 2016, 65 countries and territories have reported evidence of mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission since 2007 (62 of these countries and territories have reported evidence of mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission since 2015): 48 countries and territories first reported an outbreak from 2015 onwards.
No new country or territory has reported mosquito-borne Zika virus transmission in the week leading up 20 July 2016, according to the World Health Organization There have been at least 29 cases of reported evidence of sexual transmission (person-to-person) of the Zika virus, other than mosquito-borne transmission in Argentina, Chile, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal, Spain and the United States.
“While it has been documented that Zika can be transmitted through sexual transmission, from male to female, circulating reports are suggesting that the virus can also be transmitted from female to male,” said Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Samuel Williams-Rodriguez. “The World Health Organization reports the first documented case of female-to-male sexual transmission of Zika virus infection in the United States of America on 15 July 2016.”
Additionally, there is also one case of Zika virus infection, the mode of transmission of which is currently being investigated in the United States. The case is a family contact of an individual who died in June. The blood samples of the deceased case were found to have high amounts of Zika virus, more than 100,000 times higher than found in other samples of infected people.
The public will be updated once additional information on this matter is received and guidelines will be updated accordingly.
Mosquito Research and Control Unit (MRCU) Director, Dr. Bill Petrie said they are monitoring the situation closely and reminds the public to help reduce the population of Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits viruses, by clearing yards of containers that hold water, as these are favourite breeding sites of the mosquito.
For more advice on mosquito control, contact MRCU on 949-2557 in Grand Cayman, or 948-2223 on Cayman Brac; and the Department of Environmental Health on 949-6696 in Grand Cayman, or 948-2321 in Cayman Brac.
For further information on Zika, please contact the Public Health Department at 244-2648 or 244-2632.