Dominican President Danilo Medina on Saturday ordered all of the country’s institutions to become "actively involved " in the health ministry plans and actions to stop the spread of the Zika virus.
Medina instructed the Ministry of Health to develop coordinated actions to detect, treat and implement effective strategies to reduce the presence of the Aedes mosquito that transmits the Zika virus, dengue fever and chikungunya.
He said the Zika virus posed an "emerging threat " to the Dominican Republic after 10 cases of cases of the disease were confirmed in the country. Public Health Minister Altagracia Guzman Marcelino, said patients ranged in age form 15-17 and that there were two separate cases of children younger than 5 years old who had been infected.
Blood samples from 27 suspected patients were tested at the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in the U.S.
With the confirmation made Saturday, Zika is now circulating on both sides of the island of Hispaniola that the Dominican Republic shares with Haiti where one case of the virus was recently confirmed.
“Zika virus treatment is ambulatory,” and patients should be treated and sent home without hospitalization, said Marcelino.
She also noted that doctors who may be confused about a patient showing symptoms similar to that of dengue fever, chikungunya or Zika, should proceed as if the individual has dengue fever, otherwise death can occur.
The Zika virus has been confirmed in Africa, Asia and some Pacific Islands.
In the Western hemisphere, cases have been confirmed in the U.S, South America, Latin America and the Caribbean.