In what is hopefully a sign of things to come for all Caribbean islands that once reported Zika cases, the U.S-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced that the Cayman Islands has been removed from it Zika-related advisory list.
The jurisdiction was placed on the CDC list last year when Grand Cayman reported local transmission of the virus.
There have been no locally transmitted cases of Zika this year and just one imported case in early February.
The Cayman Islands Public Health Department has been lobbying to be removed from the list for the last several months and it was officially confirmed on Friday, July 28 that this had been done.
Although it remains on the CDC's advisory list, Puerto Rico also recently shared some positive Zika news. Several media outlets reported back in June that health officials in Puerto Rico have declared the destination’s battle with the mosquito-born Zika virus to be over.
According to the Washington Post, the health ministry said that only 10 cases of the mosquito-borne virus have been reported in each four-week period since April, compared with more than 8,000 cases reported in a four-week period at the height of the outbreak last August. The Puerto Rico Department of Health has reported only 38 cases of Zika-related birth defects, according to CNN.
“While there are very low levels of mosquito-borne Zika transmission now, it is important that we remain vigilant to keep these numbers down and support families already affected by Zika," State Epidemiologist Dr. Carmen Deseda said in a recent news release.
Caribbean Islands that remain on the travel advisory list, according to the CDC's website, are Anguilla; Antigua and Barbuda; Aruba; the Bahamas; Barbados; Bonaire; the British Virgin Islands; Cuba; Curacao; Dominica; the Dominican Republic; Grenada; Jamaica; Montserrat; Puerto Rico; Saba; St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Lucia; St. Martin; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; St. Eustatius; St. Maarten; Trinidad and Tobago; Turks and Caicos and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Also, under its “Other Areas with Zika Risk” section, the CDC also lists Haiti.