Numbers of Chikungunya cases growing

| 09/10/2014

(CNS): As concerns grow around the world about the possible spread of the deadly Ebola virus, Cayman is struggling to keep a lid on the chikungunya virus, as the total number of confirmed cases reached 20 this week. Although no new local transmissions were confirmed in the latest results, there was a surge in suspected cases at the hospital, which is now awaiting 28 results. Most of the people who have contracted the virus have done so in in the neighbouring island of Jamaica, where the illness is now endemic. As a result, Dr Kiran Kumar, the Medical Officer of Health, is pleading with the public to practice protective measures against mosquito bites.

These include using mosquito repellent with DEET on the skin, and wearing long sleeve pants and shirts when outside during times that mosquitoes bite, whether in the Cayman Islands or on travels.

In the latest update from the public health department, officials confirmed that the number of locally transmitted cases remains at four with the other 16 confirmed cases all contracted overseas, including ten in Jamaica, three in Guyana, two in the Dominican Republic and one patient picked up the virus in St Lucia.

The patients are residents of four different districts: three in Cayamn Brac, five in West Bay and Bodden Town; seven people living in George Town have also contracted the illness.

28 results are still outstanding from Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), which is where the HSA is sending blood samples from patients who are suspected to have picked up the virus.

The chikungunya virus is transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes biting infected persons during the first week of illness. It causes fever, severe joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. Officials urge anyone who may be experiencing these symptoms to immediately see a healthcare provider.

As at 6 October over 13, 000 cases have been reported from 33 regional countries.

Further information can be obtained through www.hsa.ky. Regional updates can be accessed by visiting the CARPHA website onhttp://carpha.org/What-We-Do/Public-Health-Activities/Chikungunya. In addition United States updates are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/geo/united-states.html.

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Category: Health

Comments (19)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Or as the Beanie Man song calls the virus, Chicken-Gun-Man.

  2. Dr Acula says:

    Look at the regional spread of this disease.  There is nothing that can be done to stop it becoming endemic in Cayman.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Love the picture, can you get pregnant from a bite?

    • Anonymous says:

      No, but apparently you can get stupid! Please go to the hospital immediately… You're definitely infected with stupid.

  4. Anonymous says:

    People on this island are unwitting lab rats. Toxic fumes from the Dump, extensive spraying from the skies and from trucks  are detrimental to our health. Don't forget to DDT youself for a complete extermination package. After that participate in a Cancer awareness campaign.

  5. WHAT !!!!!! says:

    Why cant we the public have better details of locations ??? You dont have too point out the household that caught it …I live on Ryan Road Crew Road and been hearing the trucks come down here morning and evening for the last 5 or 6 days ..Which other roads they go into I dont know but it do concern me.Why cant MRCU say from Tropical Gardens too Ryan Road is in danger..Or from Jose gas station too Ryan Road whatsthe point of keeping it a secret…I would gladly walk about and hand out flyers too all my neighbors asking them too check there yards for water settling in buckets or any cotainers or tires…I think it would be more wise to do that as George Town is very big…Just my two cents worth…

  6. Anonymous says:

    This clearly calls for a temporary ban on flights to/from Jamaica until they get their own diseases under control.  

    I wonder what the effect on crime in Cayman would be if that ban were to happen…. hmmm…

  7. Anonymous says:

    why can't tests be done locally? CARPHA is in Trinidad! c'mon now Health Services Auhtority, you all must can do better than this.

  8. Anonymous says:

    what the hell? we can't test for it locally? CARPHA is in Trinidad!

    "28 results are still outstanding from Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), which is where the HSA is sending blood samples from patients who are suspected to have picked up the virus."

  9. Anonymous says:

     

     

    screenings at the airport?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Better get the sprays planes up 24/7..for a while..

    • Anonymous says:

      The plane sprays the mangrove swamps, not around houses where these mosquitos live and breed.  MRCU will come when requested and fog around your home if you have a problem. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    this will spread like wildfire in cayman….it cannot be contained!

  12. Anonymous says:

    contained??!….whatev's……

  13. Anonymous says:

    Heaven forbid Ebola gets carried here, the whole island will be locked down in quarantine. Our health experts can't seem to get a handle on this let alone provide us with valid stats on the Cheeky virus, and only offer up prophylactic advisories as keeping your shirt sleeves rolled down. Better had dig out and dust off those old time smoke pots. Stay inside people lest Cheeky gets you!