'We Nuh Want Zika V': Reggae Song PSA Warns Jamaican's About Zika - NBC New York
Zika Virus Outbreak

Zika Virus Outbreak

Coverage of the spread of the Zika virus in the Americas

Jamaica Uses Reggae Song to Warn of Zika Virus

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    Jamaican health officials have only confirmed one case of the Zika virus in the country, but the Caribbean nation's Health Ministry isn't taking any chances on the possibility of more.

    Using the power of song, the government released a public service announcement in the form of a reggae dancehall jam to increase awareness of the mosquito-borne virus and inform Jamaican's on way to combat it.

    The accompanying video titled "We Nuh Want Zik V,' features Dr. Michael Abrahams, an obstetrician and gynecologist dubbed "the funniest ladies' doctor" by The Jamaica Observer.

    Abrahams warns to throw away stagnant water, dispose of garbage properly, and turn over "drum pan for prevention." Zika is carried by the Aedes aegypti and related species of mosquitoes, which lay eggs near stagnant water.

    "And special shout out to pregnant ladies: protect yourself and protect your babies," Abrahams sings, encouraging them to use mosquito repellents and citronella candles to ward off bites. 

    Mounting evidence from Brazil suggests that infection in pregnant women is linked to abnormally small heads in their babies — a birth defect called microcephaly. According to WHO, cases of Guillain-Barre syndrome, the Western world's most common form of paralysis, is also on the rise in Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Suriname and Venezuela — all hit hard by Zika.

    Though a link remains unproven, frontline physicians believe the surge in Guillain-Barre cases may also be related.

    The World Health Organization declared the spread of the Zika Virus a global health emergency earlier this month. On Wednesday the U.N. health agency said it needs $56 million from member nations and donors to kickstart a response, NBC News reported.

    Inovio Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Wednesday it had made an experimental Zika vaccine and tests in mice looked positive. According to NBC News, the company said it will test the vaccine in non-human primates and initiate clinical product manufacturing.

    The Pan American Health Organization reports 26 countries and territories in the Americas with local Zika transmission. To date, there has not been transmission of the Zika virus by mosquitoes within the U.S., but some Americans have returned to the U.S. with Zika infections from affected countries in South America, Central America, the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands.