The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) on Thursday confirmed the presence of five cases of the mosquito borne Zika virus in a CARICOM territory, the first time the virus has been detected in the region.

“Zika virus has been detected in Brazil and it was expected that it was just a matter of time before it arrived in the Caribbean Community. This is because we have abundant travel in and out of the region and we also expect that it is going to spread,” said CARPHA’s executive director, Dr James Hospedales.

While not naming the country with the five cases, Hospedales urged the public to inspect their homes and yards weekly, and eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites indoors and outdoors by keeping water drums and barrels tightly covered, and throwing out stagnant water from flower vases, old tyres, and other containers that might act as breeding sites.

He revealed that CARPHA will launch a mobile game called Zap-a-‘quito to assist in educating the public, particularly children, on the Aedes aegypti mosquito and its potential breeding sites, at a vector-borne diseases workshop, which will be hosted by CARPHA next month.

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