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Dominica confirms seven Zika cases among pregnant women

  • Written by CMC
  • Published in Health
Dominica's Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Johnson Dominica's Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Johnson
ROSEAU, Dominica, Sept 7, CMC – Dominica has confirmed that seven pregnant women had contracted the mosquito-borne Zika virus in addition to two other cases of persons with the Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), in which a person’s own immune system damages the nerve cells, causing muscle weakness, and sometimes, paralysis.

“In Dominica, there is no known case of a pregnant woman who has delivered a microcephaly case, so that is absolutely good news.” Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Johnson said.

zikaMicrocephaly is a birth defect in which a baby’s head is smaller than expected and which is said to be related to the Zika virus.

“We are monitoring seven confirmed cases of pregnant ladies with the Zika virus with a team of experts at our high risks clinics. These individuals are being monitored on a regular basis and to date, we have none of these cases delivered babies who have been found to be suffering from small head or microcephaly,” he added.

Dr. Johnson said that one of the pregnant women had just delivered her baby “and by all reports the baby is doing fine, showing no signs and symptoms of microcephaly”.

He said that regarding the GBS, health authorities have not yet determined if the illness had been linked to the Zika virus.

 “What I can say to you at this stage is that we had two suspected cases of Zika-associated Guillain-Barré syndrome. One of the cases we sent to Martinique, the person has been here for at least a month now and that individual is doing very fine.

“So the person has completely recovered from the signs and symptoms that they had, the muscle weakness etc, associated with the Guillain-Barré syndrome.

 “We had another case and the person was in the Intensive Care Unit and I am happy to report that individual has since been discharged from the intensive care unit and that individual is on the regular, normal medical ward,” he said.

“The person is not yet discharged from the hospital but the person, for all intent and purposes, has passed the critical stage of Guillain-Barré syndrome but we are still managing the individual in terms of some other medical issues that the individual has and the person the person is receiving physiotherapy etc.”

Dr. Johnson said although there are no Zika-related deaths in Dominica and the island is doing fine in terms of managing the virus, more must be done in terms of source reduction of the Aedes Egypti mosquito, the main transmitter of the disease.

Last modified onThursday, 08 September 2016 06:52