BONAIRE

Zika virus predicted for Dutch Islands

Erasmus Medical Cente virologist, Byron Martina is predicting that Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao are on the cusp of a zika-epidemic and sees co-operaton as the only way the islands can combat the challenge.

 

“I think that the intention is there. Look at what you can do together and how you should organize that,” he said, adding that the islands could benefit from the expertise of the Erasmus Medical Center.

“The most important question is now: is zika responsible for microcephaly? Because so far this has only been established in Brazil,” Martina continued.

 

Microcephaly is a condition where babies are born with an abnormally small skull and whereby the brain develops only partially. This has been recorded so far only in the poorest districts of Brazil. According to Martina, poverty leads to a decreased combat against mosquitoes; under those conditions mosquitoes transfer the virus more often.

 

The Dutch parliament has discussed the zika virus. Public Health Minister Edith Schippers said that “a sense of urgency” in the Dutch Caribbean is sufficient.