Dancehall reggae artist Beenie Man, one of the headline acts at the Cup Match Summer Splash, has reportedly fallen ill with the Zika virus.
The diagnosis was reported in Rolling Stone, which added that the Jamaican artist had called off a concert set for Saturday after being denied a Canadian visa.
There were local reports that Beenie Man had appeared unwell at his show in Bermuda on Wednesday night.
The spread of the mosquito-borne virus, which can cause mild fever and a rash, has been an international concern because it can damage babies in the womb, causing microcephaly.
It comes as the Bermuda Government ramped up efforts to keep the virus out of the island, including the deployment of mosquito traps by the Department of Health’s vector control team.
The health ministry said: “The Ministry of Health and Seniors is aware that the performer, Beenie Man, visited Bermuda to perform at a concert on July 27.
“He recently reported via social media that he is ill with zika virus, which he contracted before visiting the island. The Minister of Health and Seniors, on behalf of Bermuda, wishes him a speedy recovery. “This unfortunate situation offers an opportunity to remind the public about how to reduce the risk of contracting zika virus.
“Zika is often a mild illness, with 80 per cent of those infected having no symptoms at all. Transmission is either through being bitten by a mosquito that has previously bitten someone carrying the virus, or through intimate sexual contact. Zika virus can cause serious health problems in some babies whose mothers contract the virus while pregnant.
“The ministry would like to remind all travellers that if they become ill, they should see a physician and outline their recent travel itinerary. If travelling from an area with any mosquito-borne illnesses like zika, dengue, or chikungunya, travellers are asked to consistently apply mosquito repellent for 2 weeks after returning to Bermuda, to reduce the chance of any onward transmission.
“In addition, precautions should be taken to prevent sexual transmission of Zika virus to one’s partner via body fluids for at least 8 weeks following possible exposure. These precautions should be taken even if one does not have symptoms of illness.
“Special efforts should also be made to protect a pregnant woman from contracting the Zika virus due to its serious impact on the unborn child. All pregnant women at risk of exposure to Zika should seek immediate advice from their physician.
“In collaboration with the Department of Customs, travellers arriving at LF Wade International Airport are given public health information in a variety of ways, including an announcement over the public address system, an advisory on an electronic monitor, a printed card that outlines what to do if a traveller feels ill, and targeted health questions by customs officers depending on the jurisdiction from which the traveller has arrived.
“Bermuda is Zika-free. Bermuda’s Vector Control team has an excellent mosquito control programme, but property owners are reminded to clear debris and to take the time to tip out standing water to reduce breeding grounds for mosquitoes.”
• For more information on zika, visit www.gov.bm/zika-virus