iLocal News Archives

Death toll from Chikungunya hits 113 in the Caribbean, PAHO says

Untitlejd-1From The Montserrat Reporter

Fox News (EFE) At least 113 people have died in the Americas, with all the fatalities reported in the Caribbean region, after becoming infected with the Chikungunya virus, the Pan American Health Organization, or PAHO, said, adding that it was not yet clear if these deaths were directly attributable to the virus.

In its latest report, which includes figures as of Sept. 12, the PAHO confirmed 55 deaths linked to the virus in Martinique since last December, when the disease was first detected in the Americas.

Forty-nine deaths were reported in Guadeloupe, six in the Dominican Republic and three in St. Martin, where the virus was first found in the Americas.

Although all the victims were infected with the virus, health authorities said Chikungunya may not have been the main cause of death.

The Puerto Rican Health Department is investigating whether or not two recent deaths were related to the virus, and officials plan to provide more details on the results of medical tests in the next few days.

A total of 644,686 suspected and 9,640 confirmed Chikungunya cases have been reported in the region as of Sept. 8, the Caribbean Public Health Agency, or CARPHA, said.

Chikungunya’s symptoms include acute fever, followed by a longer period of joint pains in the extremities that may persist for years in some cases.

The disease is transmitted to humans by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes like dengue fever and while no specific treatment is known, medications can be used to reduce symptoms.

The regional organizations emphasized the importance of taking preventive measures to control the breeding locations of the mosquitoes that transmit the two viruses, especially at this time of year, the peak transmission season in the Caribbean due to increased rainfall.

Some 850,000 people in the Americas have contracted dengue and 470 others have died from the virus in 2014, the PAHO said. EFE.

For more on this story go to:

Related story:

Mosquito-borne virus disrupting life in Jamaica

By David Mcfadden From ABC

(AP) Jamaica’s health minister said Sunday that the government is doing all it can to combat a newly arrived mosquito-borne virus that is increasingly disrupting life and cutting productivity on the Caribbean island.

In a national address carried on television and radio, Fenton Ferguson said the chikungunya virus is spreading across Jamaica and “everyone is susceptible.”

“We are aware of the impact this is having on productivity and attendance at school and work and ask employers to be compassionate and assist their staff through this difficult period,” Ferguson said.

In recent days, the mosquito-borne virus with no cure or vaccine has been increasingly sickening people in Jamaica, perhaps most severely in the southeastern parish of St. Thomas.

“Schools, business, churches, farms and entire communities in St. Thomas continue to report ever mounting cases of persons ill with chikungunya, some communities with over half the population affected,” said opposition official Delano Seiveright before the health minister’s speech.

Confirmed cases in Jamaica are few so far, but there are many signs that the real number of sickened people is far higher than the official tally.

Some Jamaicans are blasting the government for what they believe is a sluggish response to a public health threat they knew was on the way. Fenton asserts the government was prepared and is doing all it can to swat down the virus but the “expectation is for chikungunya cases to spike and then trend down” as more people become immune. People develop immunity after getting infected.

For more on this story go to:



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *