Jamaican Government Releases Reggae Video To Help Stop Zika Virus

Jamaican Government Releases Reggae Video To Help Stop Zika Virus (Michael Abrahams / YouTube)

As cases of the potentially devastating Zika virus continue to increase in the Caribbean, Jamaican officials are trying to get residents to help slow its spread by turning safety tips into a reggae jam.

"We Nuh Want ZIKV," from the Jamaican Ministry of Health, sums up how to inhibit mosquitoes and their larvae and for prevent bites in a 45-second PSA with a catchy reggae-inspired beat.

The video casts OBGYN Michael Abraham as the star whose lines include "mash up all mosquito breeding site" and "change the water in your vase every day."

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The mosquito-borne Zika virus has become virulent across Central and South America and the Caribbean, where doctors fear it's caused thousands of babies to be born with serious head deformities after their mothers became infected while pregnant.

Abraham, who made a similar PSA for the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus in 2014, believes the best way to prevent Zika from ravaging the Caribbean nation is to stop mosquitoes from breeding.

In the video, which he wrote, Abraham shows some common sites where mosquitoes lay their eggs, including old tires, empty containers in the trash and old drums. 

He hopes the catchy song will help enlighten the people of Jamaica. "If everyone had that kind of mindset it would help," he told the Global Post.

Jamaica reported its first case of Zika late last month and has since been placed with other equatorial countries on a list of countries where the CDC says women who are pregnant or considering getting pregnant should not travel.

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Jamaica says it has spent about a million U.S. dollars to help combat the virus by spraying for mosquitoes and other means.

Scientists have not yet directly blamed Zika for the rash of babies born with microcephaly in Brazil in recent months.

However, the correlation between the virus and the babies born with dramatically small heads remains strong, so, as Abraham sings, "special shout out to pregnant ladies...protect yourselves and protect your babies."

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