Zika no longer a concern for Saint Lucia

Zika no longer a concern for Saint Lucia

TORONTO — Scientists have determined the Zika virus is no longer present in Saint Lucia, meaning travellers, including pregnant women, can visit the destination with no known risk of getting Zika from mosquitoes, says the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority.

The SLTA is celebrating the news, which came down as an announcement came from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). The last reported case of the Zika virus disease on Saint Lucia was in February 2017 – 19 months ago.

The Ministry of Health and Wellness in Saint Lucia noted in a statement: “In the case of Zika virus disease, the country’s last case was diagnosed greater than one year ago, in spite of continuous surveillance and testing for this disease. Given that Zika virus disease has not been detected in over a year in many Caribbean countries, the Caribbean Public Health Agency has indicated that Zika virus transmission has been interrupted in the Caribbean and that risk of transmission is very low.”

Acting CEO of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority, Tiffany Howard said the announcement will have a positive impact on Saint Lucia’s tourism product.

“Visitors, who were concerned about travelling to Saint Lucia because of Zika, now have the assurance that Saint Lucia has managed the situation effectively. Therefore, there is no need for worry about visiting the island. And what better time to come than now, when we have so many exciting things to do, see and experience on our inspiring destination.”

Some visitors from the island’s major source markets had put off trips to the destination due to concerns about the Zika virus, especially couples who were thinking about getting pregnant.

The Department of Health and Wellness has implemented several strategies to reduce the impact of Vector Borne Diseases (VBDs) and properties on the island continue to be pro-active in reducing the presence of mosquitos “so their guests can enjoy a wonderful stay”.

For more information on the Zika virus is available by calling the Chief Medical Officer at (758) 468-5309. To learn more about Saint Lucia, visit stlucia.org.

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