Mosquito-borne Zika virus in Dominica
Dominica has confirmed that seven pregnant women had contracted the mosquito-borne Zika virus in addition to two other cases of persons with the Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS), in which a person’s own immune system damages the nerve cells, causing muscle weakness, and sometimes, paralysis.
“In Dominica, there is no known case of a pregnant woman who has delivered a microcephaly case, so that is absolutely good news,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Johnson said.
Microcephaly is a birth defect in which a baby’s head is smaller than expected and which is said to be related to the Zika virus.
“We are monitoring seven confirmed cases of pregnant ladies with the Zika virus with a team of experts at our high risks clinics. These individuals are being monitored on a regular basis and to date, we have none of these cases delivered babies who have been found to be suffering from small head or microcephaly,” he added.
Dr. Johnson said that one of the pregnant women had just delivered her baby “and by all reports the baby is doing fine, showing no signs and symptoms of microcephaly”.
He said that regarding the GBS, health authorities have not yet determined if the illness had been linked to the Zika virus.
“What I can say to you at this stage is that we had two suspected cases of Zika-associated Guillain-Barré syndrome. One of the cases we sent to Martinique, the person has been here for at least a month now and that individual is doing very fine.
“So the person has completely recovered from the signs and symptoms that they had, the muscle weakness etc., associated with the Guillain-Barré syndrome.