Published On: Wed, Jun 11th, 2014

Haiti chikungunya numbers significantly higher than official PAHO tally

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) chikungunya statistics for the island of Haiti last June 6 seemed unusually low as the epidemic spreads across Hispaniola.

PAHO reported some 12,000 cases last Friday, raising some eyebrows. First, the Haitian Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) reported at the end of May, at least 15,000 chikungunya cases.

Second, when the PAHO released their numbers Friday, at least one physician took notice, commenting on a post on the infectious disease blog, H5N1 by Crawford Kilian:

I don’t know how PAHO is getting their numbers, but anyone on the ground in Haiti will tell you there have been way, way more than 11,802 cases.

Among friends and people I know, I suspect that at least 50% have had an illness consistent with chikungunya (and in some families, everyone or nearly everyone has had it). This is both in Port au Prince and in many surrounding areas.

Among the women at the maternity center I work with, a significant percentage of the pregnant women are self-reporting that they’ve already had a febrile illness consistent with chikungunya.

None of the people I know in Haiti have had laboratory-confirmed chikungunya–it is all suspected–but the symptoms are so classic (and quite different from malaria), and dengue is much less common, so I think that among people who suspect they’ve had it, most of them have probably really had it.

Today we receive some addition affirmation about the intensity and scope of the Haiti outbreak. The news source Haiti Libre reports Dr. Jocelyne Pierre-Louis Brunache, Director of Health Promotion and Environmental Protection of the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP), announced Tuesday that the record in Haiti, stood in fact, to a little more than 27,000 confirmed cases, dated May 31, since the appearance of the first 14 cases officially reported May 6.

This should come as no surprise as Haiti’s neighbor to the east, the Dominican Republic has reported in excess of 50,000 cases since April. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

Haiti   Image/CIA

Haiti Image/CIA

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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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