Third imported Zika case in Cayman Islands confirmed

A third case of imported Zika virus in the Cayman Islands has been confirmed by public health officials.

The first two cases were confirmed earlier this month. To date, there have been no confirmed cases of locally transmitted Zika in Cayman.

The patient in the newly confirmed case, a 30-year-old woman, traveled between June 11 and 19 to a country in the region where the Zika virus has been transmitted, according to Acting Medical Officer of Health Samuel Williams-Rodriguez. Officials did not specify to which country the woman had traveled.

The patient began experiencing symptoms on June 24 and went to the hospital on June 26, when samples were collected and sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency.
Health officials received confirmation from the Caribbean Public Health Agency on Wednesday that the samples tested positive for Zika.

The Mosquito Research and Control Unit was informed of the suspected case on June 26 and control measures were taken, Dr. Williams-Rodriguez said.

He said four more cases are currently being tested for Zika, dengue and chikungunya.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of July 14, more than 50 countries have reported cases of Zika transmission. Zika is linked with microcephaly, a condition where the size of an infant’s head is smaller than normal because of slowed or incomplete brain development.

The symptoms of the Zika virus are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya, and include fever, muscle and joint pain, conjunctivitis, headache, nausea and rash.

Symptoms usually appear following an incubation period of three to 12 days after the bite of an infected mosquito, and last between four and seven days.