January 31, 2023

Suspected case of Chikungunya investigated in Cayman

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overhead view of castries st lucia and caribbean seaCayman Islands Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Kiran Kumar, is confirming that a blood sample was sent on 25 June 2014 to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad to test for chikungunya and dengue. The sample was drawn after a resident, who travelled to one of the countries where there is an outbreak, has presented with symptoms consistent with chikungunya.

“The CARPHA has been notified and we are advised that they will prioritise this case and will revert with the results as a matter of urgency”, said Dr. Kumar.

As at 23 June, cases of chikungunya have been confirmed in 24 countries/territories in the Caribbean. The total number of confirmed/probable cases has reached 4,906.

While public health officials wait for the test results, MRCU confirmed taking additional control measures in the area where the patient lives.

Minister responsible for health, Hon Osbourne Bodden said, “The Government has been closely monitoring this situation as its incidence has increased across the region.”

e3dkHe added, “I want to assure the public that the Department of Public Health and the Mosquito Research and Control Unit are working together to keep a close watch – and are increasing their vigilance and mosquito control efforts to minimise the population of the vector.”

“Irrespective of confirmation or otherwise of this case as chikungunya or dengue, the public is being reminded to employ protective measures against mosquito bites locally or during their travels. Use mosquito repellants on skin and clothing, and when outdoors during times that mosquitoes are biting, wear long- sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into socks. ” Dr. Kumar added.

“People can greatly assist in reducing the local Aedes aegypti population by clearing their yards of containers that can hold water as these are favourite breeding sites for this mosquito,” MRCU Director Dr. William Petrie said.

For more advice on how to control mosquitoes in your yard, contact the MRCU on 949-2557 in Grand Cayman or 948-2223 in Cayman Brac; and DEH on 949-6696 in Grand Cayman or 948-2321 in Cayman Brac.

Map of Suriname. 3dKey Facts on Chikungunya

  • Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
  • The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue is common.
  • There is no cure for the disease. Treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms.
  • The proximity of mosquito breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for chikungunya.
  • Since 2004, chikungunya fever has reached epidemic proportions globally, with considerable morbidity and suffering.
  • The disease occurs in Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. In recent decades mosquito vectors of chikungunya have spread to Europe and the Americas. In 2007, disease transmission was reported for the first time in a localized outbreak in north-eastern Italy.


Image: www.philstar.com

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Chikungunya cases in St Lucia spiral out of control

From Caribbean360

CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Thursday June 26, 2014, CMC – St. Lucia health authorities have reported that the mosquito-borne disease, Chikungunya, has now spiraled out of control, affecting persons in all 17 constituencies on the 238-square-mile island.

Surveillance Officer within the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Michelle Francois, has confirmed that almost all communities in St Lucia have been affected.

Though not stating the specific number of individuals confirmed to have the virus in St. Lucia, Francois said there are more cases on the ground than those that have reached hospitals and community health centres.

She disclosed that the Caribbean Public Health Agency has mandated the ministry to test only persons presenting chikungunya symptoms who have been hospitalised, are pregnant and/or are very sick.

“Although we are not testing everyone …the confirmed numbers that we are seeing will always be less than what is on the ground,” she said.

Francois said the ministry anticipated the spike in the spread of chikungunya simply because the local population does not have immunity to the virus.

“So [based on] the mere fact that the public did not have immunity, we did expect the numbers to rise as more and more people get exposed to the virus and with our high indices of mosquitoes,” she said.

Unlike Dengue, Chikungunya can be contracted by an individual only once, since it gives lifelong immunity.

Francois said the ministry has been trying to keep the spread under control through various measures, including public awareness programmes.

The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) reported that as of June 20 there are 183,761 suspected cases of chikungunya in the Caribbean.


For more on this story go to: http://www.caribbean360.com/news/chikungunya-cases-in-st-lucia-spiral-out-of-control?utm_source=Caribbean360%20Newsletters&utm_campaign=d5d33f4e27-Vol_9_Issue_127_News6_26_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_350247989a-d5d33f4e27-39393477

Related story:

Suriname confirms seventeen chikungunya cases

From Caribbean360

PARAMARIBO, Suriname, Thursday June 26, 2014, CMC – The Bureau of Public Health (BOG) has confirmed 17 cases of the mosquito-borne chikungunya-virus, and widespread infection is expected.

During a press conference late Wednesday, officials from BOG, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Pan-American Health Organization warned that if precautionary measures are not taken, the virus could affect thousands.

The first Chikungunya-case was confirmed on June 7 after a man who returned from vacation in St. Martin developed symptoms of the disease, said Maureen Van Dijk-Wijngaarde, deputy director of BOG.

Last week a second case, a woman who returned from Guyana, was confirmed, while the remaining 15 were confirmed on Wednesday .

“Chikungunya is a new virus for Suriname. Since there is no resistance as yet, everyone here is vulnerable. Therefore in the coming months we may expect thousands to be infected by the virus”, CARPHA’s director, James Hospedales, warned. He further noted that currently the disease has been spread to 24 countries and territories in the Caribbean, with so far a total of some 5,000 confirmed cases.

Health Minister, Michel Blokland, urged the public to desist from the careless dumping of containers that hold water and provide breeding areas for mosquitoes, such as empty bottles, cans, tires, pails, car wrecks and refrigerators, but to dispose these items in a proper fashion.

The virus has reached epidemic proportions in the Caribbean. Symptoms include a sudden high fever, severe pains in the wrists, ankles or knuckles, headache and nausea.

The mosquito-borne illness was first detected in the Caribbean in December 2013, in St Martin, and to date the virus has been confirmed in Anguilla, Aruba, Cuba, Virgin Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique, St Barthelemy, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Maarten (Dutch) and St Martin (French).


For more on this story go to: http://www.caribbean360.com/news/suriname-confirms-seventeen-chikungunya-cases?utm_source=Caribbean360%20Newsletters&utm_campaign=d5d33f4e27-Vol_9_Issue_127_News6_26_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_350247989a-d5d33f4e27-39393477



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