Three new suspect cases of chikungunya reported

| 06/08/2014

(CNS): Despite three new suspected cases of the mosquito borne disease which is spreading around the Caribbean, there has still been only one local transmission in Cayman from five positive cases. Public officials said that so far  since the first suspected case in June 13 blood samples have been sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) from patients suspected to have picked up the virus. While three samples are from new patients in West Bay and pending results ten of the samples have been sent back with five negative results and five positive. Four of those people who had contracted chikungunya did so in countries where the disease has taken hold just leaving one person who appears to have picked up the virus locally.

Those who have picked up the virus are from George Town, Savannah, West Bay and Cayman Brac.

While the virus doesn't appear to have gotten a hold in the local mosquito population in Cayman, according to the latest figures for the Caribbean region the virus continues to spread. To date, 6,563 confirmed cases of chikungunya have been reported with 822 cases from 20 CARPHA Member States and 5,741 cases from 11 other Caribbean countries/territories. 

Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by the bite of infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, similar to dengue. Chikungunya 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. Joint paint is predominant in chikungunya, while muscle pain is predominant in dengue.

There is no medication against the virus. Treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms- bed rest, over the counter pain killers, and plenty of fluids.

There is no vaccine against chikungunya or dengue. Prevention of these diseases is through protective measures against mosquito bites by use of mosquito repellents on skin and clothing, and when outdoors during times that mosquitoes are biting, wearing long- sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into socks. 

The proximity of mosquito breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for chikungunya. People can greatly assist in reducing the local Aedes aegypti population by clearing their yards of containers that can hold water as these are favourite breeding sites for this mosquito.
Since 2004, chikungunya fever has reached epidemic proportions globally, with considerable morbidity and suffering.

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 a localized outbreak in north-eastern Italy.

Countries Reporting an Outbreak: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas,  Barbados,  British Virgin Islands , Cayman Islands , Curacao,   Dominica ,  Grenada,  Guyana, Haiti , Jamaica , St Kitts and Nevis,  St Lucia, Sint Maarten, St Vincent and the Grenadines,  Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands . Cuba, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St Barthelemy, St Martin, United States of America, US Virgin Islands and Venezuela 

For more advice on how to control mosquitoes in your yard, contact the MRCU on 949-2557 in Grand Cayman or 948-2223 in Cayman Brac; and DEH on 949-6696 in Grand Cayman or 948-2321 in Cayman Brac.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    chicken ganja is the LEAST of our problems once the Ebola virus reaches our shores

    God help us ….i dont know how to farm OR fish   🙁

  2. AnimalLover says:

    Spelling "you" as "yu" is stupid and it's a very real possibility given the statistics for THAT disease!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Can you give more details on the disease e.g how long do the symptoms last? who is most at risk for hospitalization? etc. 

    • Anonymous says:

      The answers to questions are:

      1) In most cases the symptoms last until you die.  Which is usually quite quickly.

      2) The people most in need of hospitalisation are the people who have the disease.

      I hope this helps.

      • Anonymous says:

        Chikungunya is not fatal in and of itself, but it can create premature and longterm debilitating joint pain and could lead to organ failures in some.  You don't want to try it out.

    • Anonymous says:

      You're already on the internet – search!  CDC, WHO websites have good info.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Importantly, this is a human disease spread only by aedes aegypti and aedes albopictus (asian tiger mosquito) that are almost impossible to eradicate and feed almost exclusively on humans.  I'd like the Health Authority to insist on meeting CDC's recommended policy of a vigilant first week local quarantine of any locally afflected humans.  Those poor souls are the only vector that can be biten again and subseqently transmit to another nearby human on the insect's next blood meal.  All local MDs should have by now read the CHIKV Fact Sheets, Diagnosis, and Treatment notes from CDC, WHO and others.  Ask your Doctor if they've done their homework.  One careless misdiagnosis could result a crippling and lasting national epidemic.  Everyone should read the notes and be prepared as this could get into play very quickly.

  5. Anonymous says:

    No worries. The genetically engineered mosquitoes that they tested on us as gunea pigs will whip out the chikungunya bugs. … ah I think so

  6. Knot S Smart says:

    Ebola soon come…