The number of confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne disease Zika has risen to 28 in Dominica with two pregnant women among them.
On Friday, Chief Medical Officer, Dr. David Johnson, said there were no reported complications with the pregnant women.
“To date we have identified a total of 28 confirmed case of the Zika virus,” he said.
He stated that although the cases are confirmed, it doesn’t mean those affected are sick at this time.
“We take samples and those samples are sent to Trinidad, to the Caribbean Public Health Agency for confirmation,” he explained. “The turn around time is usually around five days to a week but most times by the time we get the result, the persons are in fact asymptomatic. So in fact, all of the persons who I referred too, are asymptomatic at this time, in other words, they are not presenting any signs or symptoms of the Zika virus.”
He stated the two cases involving the pregnant women are of the greatest concern to health officials and they are being monitored.
“We have a complete team of medical personnel, specialists who are monitoring these individuals to ensure that they provide, I should add, psychosocial support to the individuals and bring all of the necessary investigation and monitoring by our experts.”
Dr. Johnson said no complications have been identified in the pregnant women.
“It’s not a one to one ratio that if you have Zika virus and you are pregnant that your baby will born with any sort of malformation,” he remarked.
Dominica confirmed its first case of the disease on March 15, 2016.
Later in March, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States added Dominica to the list of countries that some US citizens were advised to avoid amid the spread of the virus.
On March 30, Tourism Minister, Robert Tonge, has said that he was “not very concerned” about the effect of such an advisory on the local tourism industry.
Four more cases were confirmed on April 15, while on April 21, 18 cases were reported.