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Published On: Fri, Jan 24th, 2014

Chikungunya outbreak in Caribbean continues to expand, latest numbers released

“Epidemiological data indicate that the outbreak that started in Saint Martin (FR) is expanding. An increasing number of cases has been observed from most of the affected areas.”

mosquito

Photo/CDC-James Gathany

This above statement is from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control’s (ECDC) latest Communicable Diseases Threat Report released Jan. 23 for Week 4, Jan. 19-25, which also reported the latest case numbers from the Caribbean outbreak.

According to the report, the following islands have reported chikungunya cases: Virgin Islands (UK), 3 confirmed cases; Saint Martin (FR), 393 confirmed cases; Saint Martin (NL), 9 confirmed cases (previously reported as 10 confirmed case in the Philipsburg website, The Daily Herald);  Martinique, 267 confirmed cases and probable cases;  Saint Barthélemy, 45 confirmed cases and probable cases;  Guadeloupe, 68 confirmed and probable cases; Dominica, 1 confirmed case and French Guyana, 2 confirmed case that were imported. Thirteen suspected cases are being investigated.

The ECDC reminds travelers to the region, “Vigilance is recommended for the occurrence of imported cases of chikungunya in tourists returning from the Caribbean in the EU, including awareness among clinicians, travel clinics and blood safety authorities.”

According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Chikungunya (Pronunciation: \chik-en-gun-ye click to hear pronunciation) fever is a viral disease transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Chikungunya virus is a member of the genus Alphavirus, in the family Togaviridae. Chikungunya fever is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., joint swelling), laboratory testing, and the possibility of exposure to infected mosquitoes. There is no specific treatment for chikungunya fever; care is based on symptoms. Chikungunya fever is not usually fatal. Steps to prevent infection with chikungunya virus include use of insect repellent, protective clothing, and staying in areas with screens. Chikungunya virus was first isolated from the blood of a febrile patient in Tanzania in 1953, and has since been cited as the cause of numerous human epidemics in many areas of Africa and Asia and most recently in limited areas of Europe. Chikungunya virus is not currently found in the United States.

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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