Zika GoFundMe campaign needs YOU

MosquitoWith Zika confirmed in three pregnant women in Barbados and Caribbean Canadians in Toronto worried about relatives back home, The Camera is doing all it can to help, including a GoFundMe drive to help public health authorities there pay to fight the mosquito-borne disease.
To donate, please use gofundme.com/xtmy5drn.
We are also expecting to hear from the Bahamas government about getting on board with our urgent drive to contain this menace and hopefully save lives.
Meanwhile, according to results at press time from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) the number of confirmed cases of infection of expectant mothers by the virus in Barbados is seven.
“Specialized obstetrics care will also be provided to monitor the progress of their pregnancies,” a statement from the Barbados Ministry of Health said.
The ministry advised the public that pregnant women are at risk of getting the Zika virus at any trimester in their pregnancy. However, it added the link between the Zika virus and microcephaly (babies born with small heads and neurological abnormalities) remains under investigation with that relationship unconfirmed.
As well as health concerns, there is economic fallout in the Caribbean as the Zika virus is putting North Americans off vacations in the region. A Reuters / Ipsos poll says 41% of those aware of the disease are less likely to take such a trip. The fear is that that trend will increase which could severely harm many Caribbean countries which rely heavily on tourism for much of their government income.
The U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has advised pregnant women to avoid travel with an active outbreak of Zika, and the World Health Organization has declared an international emergency over the disease.
Brazil is investigating the potential link between Zika infections and more than 4,000 suspected cases of microcephaly. Active Zika virus was found in Brazil in urine and saliva.
The Caribbean Diaspora is being encouraged to inform relatives and friends in the Caribbean that if they live in places with Aedes mosquitoes to use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved, light-coloured clothes and use insect screens or mosquito nets while inside.
To help control the mosquito population, people should cover domestic water tanks, unblock drains, avoid accumulating garbage and avoid allowing water to stagnate in outdoor containers such as flower pots.
The Camera launched its GoFundMe campaign last week with an editorial that said, in part, “Our Toronto-based newspaper has a target of raising $5 million. One hundred per cent of the donations raised will be donated to fighting this virus in Caribbean countries.
“Please donate generously online to the GoFund Me campaign: visit Gofundme.com/xtmy5drn.”