KINGSTON, Jamaica, Monday July 25, 2016 – Jamaica will soon be participating in clinical trials to find a vaccine to treat the mosquito-borne Zika Virus.
Minister of Health Dr. Christopher Tufton says the island’s participation is part of an international study and fight against Zika. The clinical trials are supported by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Tufton said a vaccine could become available within a year.
Jamaica is among some 65 countries fighting Zika. And the Health Minister reiterated that the virus isn’t going anywhere in any hurry.
“The Zika virus is new and there is no resistance. The immune system has not experienced it and developed the capacity to fight against it. So, when something is new like Zika, it tends to spread faster until you develop some sort of resistance to it,” he said.
He says the Government is determined to empower citizens to fight Zika through the free flow of information at all levels. Tufton believes that once people are informed, they will be better able to tackle the virus.
“The biggest and most significant line of defence to fight this virus is us,” he emphasised.
Jamaica has recorded 44 confirmed cases of the Zika virus, but there are more than 3,000 suspected cases.