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St. Lucians are being urged to guard against mosquito bites in light of CARPHA reports that the ZICA virus has been detected in one CARICOM State.

The ZICA virus of Zica fever is spread by the Aides Egypti mosquito. It is also the vector respondible for the spread of the Dengue and chikungunya virus.

In issuing the caution, Chief Medical Officer Dr Merlene Fredericks noted that while the virus can cause mild illness in people who are infected, pregnant women are most at risk.

She warns that the virus is known to cause a birth defect id expectant women are infected early in their pregnancy.

Meanwhile Dr Frederick says while the virus has not been detected locally, it is only a matter of time before it spreads around the region.

According to Dr Fredericks the ZICA virus is likely to spread in a similar trend as the Chikungunya virus around the region.
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