Cayman reports potential first case of Zika

A Cayman Islands public health official confirmed Friday that a visitor to Cayman has been diagnosed with the Zika virus.

Acting Medical Officer of Health Dr. Samuel Williams Rodriguez, in a statement issued late Friday afternoon,  said, “On 1 June, 2016, the Public Health Department was notified that a visitor to the Cayman Islands who was tested on returning home, was reportedly diagnosed with the Zika virus infection.

“With immediate effect, my office contacted the individual and we are in ongoing communication to ascertain the exact details of the individual’s travel history, onset of symptoms and location of stay during the visit to the Islands including other pertinent information that will assist in this investigation to confirm the alleged exposure to the Zika virus in the Cayman Islands.”

According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 48 countries have reported cases of the Zika virus.

Dr. Williams Rodriguez said, “I use this opportunity to assure the public that a comprehensive report will be issued on completion. All relevant stakeholders are fully aware of this situation. We ask that you exercise patience as the investigation is completed.”

He urged the public to take preventative measures against being bitten by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries the Zika virus, as well as dengue and chikungunya viruses.

Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites.