Published On: Tue, Jan 14th, 2014

Chikungunya confirmed on Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands

Three cases of the mosquitoborne virus, chikungunya, have been confirmed in the British Virgin Islands, according to a Ministry of Health and Social Development news release Monday.

Jost Van Dyke (in red) Public domain Image/M.Minderhoud

Jost Van Dyke (in red)
Public domain Image/M.Minderhoud

“We have confirmed three cases on Jost Van Dyke”, said  Medical Officer of Health in the Ministry of Health and Social Development, Dr. Ronald Georges.

Dr. Georges notes that the three cases were locally acquired. “It is important to note that these confirmed cases were not exposed to travel, which alerts us that the virus is already in our mosquito population,” he stated.

According to Dr. Georges, the ministry has been coordinating a response with the Environmental Health Division to minimize the impact of Chickungunya. He is reminding the public to take appropriate measures to minimise exposure to mosquitoes.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) reported late last week, a total of 287 confirmed and probable chikungunya cases in the islands of the French Caribbean.

LISTEN: Chikungunya in the Western Hemisphere: An interview with a CDC expert

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) Fact Sheet, Chikungunya is a viral disease that is spread by 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.

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 Europe, in a localized outbreak in north-eastern Italy.

The CDC notes there is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent chikungunya. People can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.

Jost Van Dyke is the smallest of the four main islands of the British Virgin Islands.

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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. Virgin Islands health officials issue chikungunya health advisory - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] a couple of days after three confirmed chikungunya cases were reported from Jost Van Dyke, in the British Virgin Islands, the Virgin Islands Health Department issued a public health […]

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