More Chikungunya Cases Picked Up From Jamaica

| 15/10/2014

(CNS): Another five people have tested positive for the chikungunya virus, public health officials said Wednesday all of which had a travel history to Jamaica. With Cayman’s close neighbour now experienced a major outbreak, Dr Kiran Kumar, the medical officer of health warned locals to ensure they protect themselves from mosquitoes given the frequent travel between the two countries to help Cayman continue to contain the spread locally. The public health doctor said that Cayman has done a good job controlling the disease because of the work of the MRCU and because the wider public were protecting themselves.

Following the receipt of the most recent blood sample results Cayman has now recorded 25 cases of the mosquito transmitted disease which causes fever, severe joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. However, only four of those that contracted thevirus do so locally the rest all had a travel history to countries where the disease has become endemic.

Fifteen of the 21 people who picked up chikungunya did so in Jamaica, three were infected in Guyana, two in the Dominican Republic and one in St Lucia.

Officials said none of the  patients who have been confirmed as having chikungunya remain contagious but those who have had the illness are residents of both Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, George Town, West Bay and Bodden Town. The chikungunya virus is transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes biting infected persons during the first week of illness.

Although Kumar is confident that Cayman can continue to control the spread of the virus with many people travelling to countries where the virus is still endemic he is urging people to keep using mosquito repellent and covering up when outdoors during the times when the  Aedes aegypti are biting. The HSA is also still waiting on the results of more than 20 other potential cases.

As at 13 October 2014, there were ofer 14,000 cases of the virus in the region.

More information is available at www.hsa.ky and 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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Comments (12)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    "Well, I don't eat chicken so I won't get it. "  Lol.  Recently overheard conversation.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I sincrely hope that the authorities in Cayman have the proper procedures in place to quarantine the Speaker f the House on her return from her African tour. You would have thought she had better sense than to venture into that part of the world knowing of that deadly disease. Please dear God keep that disease away from our shores. I hope Cayman will take a page from the Jamaican authorities and band all people coming or leaving for African countries.

  3. MEM says:

    I'm waiting to read the Ebola reports shortly…

  4. Anonymous says:

    Chik is coming to Cayman and there nothing that can be done to stop it becoming endemic.  That is the reality.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I'm confused, I thought you could only contract if bit by a mosquito carrying the virus………

    • Anonymous says:

      You are correct.  However, if someone who has Chik-V gets bit by a mosquito and then that mosquito bites you, the chances of you getting Chik-V goes up.  It is a bit like dengue 

  6. Anonymous says:

    Mrcu needs to hire some more people

  7. Anonymous says:

    Do we need passenger screening at the airport for flights from Jamaica?

    • Anonymous says:

      Thats not necessary….ChikV is transmitted by mosquitos and we already have it being transmitted locally.

  8. Anonymous says:

    If someone has had it – can they get it again or are they imune?

     

    • Anonymous says:

      If they have a normally functioning immune system they are immune after infection.

    • Anonymous says:

      West Bayers are immune to chickingunya and polio, a UCCI study has revealed