System for Detection of Zika Fever in Haiti in Place

Zika fever is an illness caused by the Zika virus. Its symptoms are similar to Dengue fever or Chikungunya but in a milder form and it usually last for four to seven days. The first known case of Zika fever was noticed on a ' rhesus monkey' in the Zika Forest in Uganda in 1947. The early evidences of human infection were reported from African countries such as such as Uganda, Tanzania, Egypt and Asian countries like India, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, etc. The virus is mostly transmitted by daytime active mosquitoes, but it can be sexually transmitted between humans as well.


Recently, on December 1, 2015, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) has circulated an Epidemiological Alert in the Americas. The PAHO has informed the early warning systems to detect 'Zika' fever. The specimens of mosquitoes usually responsible for carrying the Zika virus, including the specimen of Aedes mosquitoes, were collected by the Haitian Epidemiology Department, Laboratory and Research. When they were tested at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and Tobago, found negative. Nevertheless, in response to CARPHA's alert on the possible spread of the Zika virus, the Haitian health department has given a guideline for timely detection of Zika fever to the citizens and that follows: moderate fever, headache, pain in joints and muscles, non purulent conjunctivitis (red eyes), swelling of the feet and hands, and rash with itching. With an incubation period of 3 to 12 days, the virus can be noticed in the blood from the 2nd to 5th day onward. The infection is symptomatic only in 18% of cases. There is no antiviral treatment of Zika fever, only the symptoms can be lessened by treatments.

However, since the Haitian Ministry of Health could not rule out its presence in the near future within the national territory, it has decided to maintain its surveillance for timely detection in the country. If any health provider notices patients with similar symptoms, it should immediately report the corresponding Departmental Directorate of Health or the Directorate of Epidemiology of Research and Laboratory at these numbers: 730-6339 or 3730-6407.

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