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Combating the Zika virus

The Zika virus has now been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organisation.  Cases have now been reported in Jamaica and Florida, while means the threat of it reaching Cayman is high. While that may be the case, Dr. Samuel Williams of the Public Health Department says “the possiblity of it spreading in Cayman is low, because we are prepared.”

Dr. Williams says Cayman has been planning for the arrival of the Zika virus since May of 2015.  He goes on to say a baseline has been established, which means if cases go up, they have a control in which they can make accurate comparisons to.

Dr. Williams says the Public Health Department has resources allocated to combating disease, but should more resources be needed, Government has been the assurance it will provide those resources.

When it comes to recognizing the systems, Dr. Williams says 80% of patients will experience no symptoms.  For the 20% of patients that do experience symptoms they will be similar to those of dengue fever and chikungunya; fever, headaches, joint and muscle pain, and conjunctivitis.

Controlling mosquito populations is the best line of defense against the virus, says Dr. Williams.

About the author

Edlyn Ruiz

Edlyn Ruiz

Edlyn Ruiz first began a career in broadcast, in radio as a teen. She joined the Cayman 27 team as an intern, while pursuing her Bachelors. She came on board full time in 2011. She serves as a producer and on-air host/anchor. She has an interest in stories focused on health, and the environment.

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