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Cases of H1N1 and Zika are being monitored in Barbados

Posted: Tuesday, January 12, 2016. 11:38 am CST.

Posted: Tuesday, January 12th, 2016. 11:39 a.m. CST

aedes aegyptiBy Dalila Ical: According to reports by Caribbean 360, health authorities in Barbados have sent samples of eight suspected cases of H1N1 and Zika for testing to the Caribbean Public Health Agency.

Minister of Health John Boyce asked Barbadians not to panic and to take similar measures to prevent its transmission. Since the disease is transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, the same mosquito responsible for transmitting dengue and Chikungunya (Chik-V), the prevention measures are the same. These include keeping yards clean to remove mosquito breeding.

While Zika fever is considered the mildest of the list, symptoms include fever, headache, rash, nausea, muscle and joint pain, pain in the eyes, swelling of the lower joints and sometimes even conjunctivitis.

The Zika virus was first reported in the Caribbean in June of 2015. In November of that year, Belize’s Health Department announced it too was preparing for the introduction of the disease in the country. In December of the same year, cases were confirmed in Guatemala and El Salvador.

So far no cases have been reported in Belize.

The H1N1 virus, also known as the swine flu virus, is transmitted from person to person by a cough or sneeze. Symptoms are cough, fever, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue.

The Barbados Environmental Health Department continues to take vector control measures to mitigate the situation, reports say.

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