The mosquito-borne Zika virus has spread through most of South and Central America, the Caribbean and parts of Florida since the initial outbreak in 2015. Cayman’s Public Health Department confirmed local transmission on Grand Cayman Aug. 8.
Only about 1 in 5 people who contract Zika will show symptoms of the virus. Symptoms are normally mild and include fever, rash, conjunctivitis (red eyes) and joint pain. There is no vaccine or treatment for Zika. The biggest concern is for pregnant women. Zika can cause severe birth defects in babies born to infected mothers.
Zika is primarily transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, a common pest in the Cayman Islands that is also responsible for spreading dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.