Two more patients pick up chikungunya locally

| 26/11/2014

(CNS): Public health officials said that they received two more positive results for chikungunya virus, this week, from patient blood samples without travel history from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). Twelve people have now contracted the disease in Cayman from mosquitos biting infected people and transmitting the virus to another person. Meanwhile, officials have also recorded another case of dengue fever in a patient who presented in October pushing up the cases for this year to four. Two of the cases were acquired locally while others were picked up in Honduras.

In total there have been 36 confirmed case of Chikungunya virus in Cayman with 24 being contracted overseas. But blood samples in patients with travel history to endemic areas are no longer being sent for testing as they are being treated as positive. However most of the patients the hospital is seeing who have picked up chikungunya abroad are being infected in Jamaica.

There were 8 suspected cases of chikungunya during the week 18-24 November based on symptoms. Two had travelled to Jamaica, but six reported no travel history.

With the numbers increasing in Jamaica, People are being warned in Cayman to take extra care and earlier this week the MRCU announced its aerial spraying plans. However, the major mosquito air attacks have only limited impact on chikungunya as well as dengue as these diseases are spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito which breeds in urban areas in standing water. As a result everyone is urged to control standing water in their yards and to take precautions against being bitten my mosquitos.

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