PAHO says that French speaking Caribbean island is the 11th country in the Americas to report the virus this year, and the 12th to report local transmission. Dr Joy St. John, Director of Surveillance at the Disease Prevention & Control at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), says “In the last decade, the Caribbean has been wrestling with waves of vector borne diseases. During the last two years the region has seen unrelenting outbreaks of Chikungunya, and more recently Zika.”
Last month, CARPHA confirmed the presence of five cases of the mosquito borne Zika virus in Suriname. Symptoms of the Zika virus include fever, rash, joint pain, and red eyes. The illness is usually mild, with symptoms lasting from several days to a week. Severe illness requiring hospitalisation is uncommon. Other countries confirming the presence of the virus are Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Suriname, and Venezuela.