Local January 4, 2016 | 8:26 am

Dominican Republic braces for arrival of Zika virus

SantoDomingo.- The Dominican Republic health authorities are on alert for thepossible arrival of the Zika virus, and have introduced prevention, control andvigilance measures and is calling on people to keep water tanks covered and to eliminateall possible items and discarded objects that could serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

“We areactively watching out to detect cases as early as possible and the measures that weare emphasizing are about vector (mosquito) control, eliminating breedingareas, to reduce contagion levels,” said Raquel Pimentel,general director of the Ministry of Health’s Epidemiology Division.

She said that the NationalEpidemiological Vigilance System (SNE) is working at full capacity given that the Dominican Republic has close contact and receives travelers fromsome of the countries where cases have already been reported.

Pimentel added that the Zika virus ispresent in the Americas region and clarified that the risk of it moving fromone place to another was not determined by the distance between countriesbut by migration and an increase in the number of cases, “so as long as theyare increasing in other countries, this enhances the risk of it affecting thecountry”.

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