Published On: Fri, Jan 17th, 2014

Virgin Islands health officials issue chikungunya health advisory

Just 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 advisory Wednesday.

Health Commissioner Darice Plaskett advised residents to be mindful to protect themselves from mosquitoes.


Aedes aegypti  Image/CDC

Aedes aegypti Image/CDC

Director Francine Lang of the Department’s Public Health Preparedness Program also noted that the VI Department of Health is staying abreast of the reports of Chikungunya in nearby Caribbean islands, including the French West Indies previously and, now, the British Virgin Islands. “The Virgin Islands is a tourist destination for some people and home for many people who travel to or from destinations where mosquitoes and mosquito-borne viruses are present and outbreaks occur,” so we urge residents to seek medical attention if they recently travelled to such areas and are experiencing symptoms. Doctors in the territory have been notified and are asked to be vigilant for symptoms that may indicate infection with the Chikungunya virus.

The symptoms of chikungunya, according to Dr. Marc Jerome, Territorial Medical Director, include  fever and severe joint pains, often in the hands and feet. Other symptoms may include; headache, muscle pain and joint swelling or rash. 

Health officials offer the following tips for residents to avoid mosquito bites:

  • Keep tires in a dry place. Punch holes in them to make sure water drains out.
  • Put plants that are currently in water into soil. Empty flowerpot bases weekly.
  • Cover or turn food containers for animals and buckets that hold water upside down.
  • Repair or replace damaged screens. Keep windows and doors without screens closed.
  • Place a screen or mesh over the overflow pipe of cisterns.
  • Cover infant cribs with mosquito netting.
  • Use mosquito repellants containing DEET. Follow instructions carefully and use on arms, legs, ankles and nape of neck. Avoid applying to children under 2 years old and to the hands of older children.
  • Wear long sleeves and pants when outdoors.


For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page and the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show page.

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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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