×
Interested in our Partner Program for businesses or our Local Guide Program for experienced expats and digital nomads? Click here to learn more.
Expat Exchange - Zika Virus in Dominica
Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In
Scotts Head, Dominica


Zika Virus in Dominica

By Joshua Wood, LPC

William Russell
William Russell

Summary: The mosquito-borne Zika Virus is a p for people living in Dominica. It's especially important for pregnant women to understand the risks of getting Zika during pregnancy. Learn how to limit your exposure and what to do if you get Zika.

In Dominica, residents face concerns related to the Zika Virus transmitted by mosquitoes. Pregnant women, in particular, need to be aware of the risks associated with contracting Zika during their pregnancy. Discover ways to minimize exposure and steps to take if you contract the virus.

The Zika virus, a mosquito-borne illness, has been a significant health concern in many parts of the world, including the Caribbean island of Dominica. This article aims to provide comprehensive information about the Zika virus in Dominica, its symptoms, prevalence, and long-lasting effects, as well as its impact on pregnancy and prevention methods, particularly for expats living in the country.

What is the Zika Virus?

The Zika virus is a mosquito-borne disease primarily transmitted by the Aedes species of mosquito. Symptoms typically include mild fever, skin rash, conjunctivitis, muscle and joint pain, malaise, or headache. These symptoms usually last for 2-7 days. However, many people infected with Zika virus won’t have symptoms or will only have mild symptoms. The virus was first identified in Uganda in 1947 in monkeys and was later identified in humans in 1952. The long-lasting effects of the virus can include neurological complications such as Guillain-Barré syndrome, neuropathy and myelitis, particularly in adults and older people. In pregnant women, the virus can cause congenital Zika syndrome in their babies, a pattern of birth defects that includes brain abnormalities, microcephaly, and eye defects, among others.

Where is Zika Most Prevalent in Dominica?

Zika virus is prevalent throughout Dominica, with the entire island considered a risk area. The virus is more common in urban areas where the Aedes mosquito is found in larger numbers. However, it can also be found in rural and semi-rural areas. The risk of Zika virus transmission is higher during the rainy season when mosquito populations increase.

Zika Virus and Pregnancy

Zika virus poses a significant risk to pregnant women due to its potential to cause severe birth defects. The most serious of these is microcephaly, a condition where a baby's head is significantly smaller than expected, often due to abnormal brain development. Other complications can include miscarriage, stillbirth, and eye problems. Pregnant women in Dominica are advised to take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and to seek immediate medical attention if they suspect they have contracted the virus. It is also recommended that women planning to become pregnant wait at least eight weeks after symptoms start or from the time they leave an area with risk of Zika.

How do Expats in Dominica Prevent Mosquito Bites?

Expats in Dominica can take several measures to prevent mosquito bites and reduce their risk of contracting the Zika virus. These include wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants, using insect repellent, and staying in places with window and door screens or air conditioning. It's also important to eliminate mosquito breeding sites around homes, such as standing water in buckets, bowls, animal dishes, or flower pots.

What if I get Zika Virus in Dominica?

If you get the Zika virus in Dominica, it's important to seek medical attention immediately. While there is no specific treatment for the virus, symptoms can be managed with rest, rehydration, and over-the-counter medicines for fever and pain. People infected with Zika should also avoid mosquito bites for the first week of their illness to prevent further spread of the virus.

Is Zika Virus Contagious?

Zika virus is primarily transmitted through the bite of an infected Aedes mosquito. However, it can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus, through sexual contact, and through blood transfusion. It is not spread directly from person to person through casual contact.

Is Zika Virus More Dangerous for Children, Elderly or Immune-Compromised?

While the Zika virus typically causes mild symptoms in most people, certain groups may be at higher risk for severe illness. This includes individuals with weakened immune systems, the elderly, and children, particularly newborns born to mothers infected with the virus. In these groups, the virus can potentially lead to serious neurological complications. Therefore, it's crucial for these individuals to take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

Scotts Head, Dominica

GeoBlue
GeoBlue

Top-quality coverage for people who live, work, study and travel internationally.
Get Quote

GeoBlueGeoBlue

Top-quality coverage for people who live, work, study and travel internationally.
Get Quote

Contribute to Dominica Network Contribute
Help others in Dominica by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Dominica.

William Russell
William Russell

Copyright 1997-2024 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal Partners & Local Guides