Dear Island School families,

We on Eleuthera have been following the reporting on the Zika virus in the news and want to update you on our response and address some concerns that have been raised.  We are aware of the spread of the Zika virus throughout South America and the Caribbean, and are monitoring the CDC, PAHO/WHO, the US Embassy in Nassau, and local media and public health reporting in The Bahamas for updates. The CDC does not currently list The Bahamas as having any reported cases of Zika virus infection. Because the spread of Zika and other viruses to all countries where Aedes aegypti are endemic is predicted, we are applying our standing mosquito protection protocols for our community as usual.

The spread of these viral diseases is difficult to monitor properly - as the article mentions, infections of a specific type can only be verified in a laboratory test.  We encourage prevention of mosquito bites - some students bring personal no-see-um mesh camping type nets for their beds, and bug-net pants and tops. We also promote use of DEET and encourage covering up with long socks and long pants and long sleeves.

We also monitor the CDC for general medical issues:

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/clinician/none/the-bahamas

and the US State Department for safety, travel, and security:

http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/country/the-bahamas.html

and

https://www.osac.gov/Pages/ContentReportDetails.aspx?cid=17138

We recommend you read the information in the above links and be familiar with the local issues.

The health of our students and communication with families have always been top priorities. Please reach out if you have any questions.