PHILIPSBURG:— Reports in at the Department of Collective Prevention Services (CPS) has indicated that the first case of Zika has been confirmed. At this point in time we cannot confirm that the virus was locally transmitted, as the person did travel outside Sint Maarten shortly before being tested.
“The focus for the Ministry and community at this time should remain on working together to eradicate breeding sites and to take precautions against mosquito bites. The mosquito that carries the virus are known as container breeder, therefore it is important for everyone to remain pro-active and clean yards, screen your cisterns and take preventative measures when outside. I am urging persons to think twice before littering as these mosquitos breed in bottle caps, and other garbage that can collect rain water,” stated Minister Lee at press briefing on Wednesday.
For treatment of areas of concern advice may be sought and reported to the Inspectorate of Health 542-3579, Collective Prevention Services 542-2078/542-3003, Harrigan Exterminating Services 544-2281, Terminix 544-3351, and hardware stores in order to identify suitable treatments.
A hotline is being developed and should be operational as of Thursday February 18th, where informed community members can report breeding grounds. This number is 550-CALL/550-2255. The Ministry of VSA is stepping up all prevention efforts and encourages the public to do the same.
Source: St. Martin News Network First Confirmed Zika Case on Sint Maarten.