FORT-DE-FRANCE, Martinique, Sunday December 27, 2015 – Martinique has become the latest Caribbean island to report the Zika virus (ZIKV), according to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
In its latest epidemiological report, for the week of December 20 to 26, PAHO added Martinique as well as the French overseas territory of Guiana to the list of countries where there have been confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne virus.
It did not give any details about the number of cases or status of the patients.
Suriname remains the only Caribbean Community (CARICOM) territory on the list.
Health authorities in several Caribbean nations have indicated they are on high alert, putting all the necessary measures in place to prepare for the possibility of the ZIKV reaching their shores.
ZIKV causes Zika fever, which is very similar to dengue fever and chikungunya. Symptoms include fever, muscle and joint pain, headache, nausea, eyeball pain, inflammation of the eye, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain, weakness, swelling of the lower limbs and a rash consisting of small bumps.
PAHO says one out of four people may not develop symptoms, but in those who are affected the disease is usually mild with symptoms that can last between two and seven days.