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Published On: Sat, Dec 14th, 2013

CDC issues travel notice for St. Martin as Chikungunya cases reach 10

In a follow-up to a  report Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) is reporting 10 cases of chikungunya, as of Dec. 12 that have been identified in people who live on the French side of St. Martin in the Caribbean.

mosquito

Photo/CDC-James Gathany

Laboratory analysis is being conducted on other possible cases and this testing is pending.

This is the first ever reported cases of “locally-acquired” transmission of chikungunya in the Western hemisphere.

This has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a travel notice for travelers to the area.

“Travelers who go to St. Martin in the Caribbean are at risk of getting chikungunya,” the federal health agency notes.

There is no treatment for chikungunya and no preventive vaccine for the viral disease. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.

The CDC notes the mosquito that carries chikungunya virus, the same that carries dengue fever,  can bite during the day and night, both indoors and outdoors, and often lives around buildings in urban areas.

They advise taking usual precautions like covering exposed skin, use of an appropriate insect repellent, stay and sleep in screened or air-conditioned rooms and use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

According to the World Health Organization, Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease first described during an outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952.  The name ‘chikungunya’ derives from a root verb in the Kimakonde language, meaning “to become contorted” and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain.

Chikungunya is characterized by an abrupt onset of fever frequently accompanied by joint pain. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. The joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually ends within a few days or weeks.

Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years. Occasional cases of eye, neurological and heart complications have been reported, as well as gastrointestinal complaints.

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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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  1. Chikungunya outbreak grows to 26 confirmed cases on St. Martin - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] is up from 10 confirmed cases reported one week ago. Health authorities also note that there are at least a dozen “probable” […]

  2. Gasnet says:

    Do you that the chikungunya is only on the French side… Is the mosquito so smart to not to go to the dutch side ????

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