SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

Chikungunya outbreak in Caribbean expanding

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control announced on Monday that 247 new cases of Chikungunya fever were reported in the Caribbean in the past week alone and the outbreak continues to expand.

The epidemiological data regarding the Chikungunya outbreak shows that it began in Saint Martin and is continuing to spread throughout the Caribbean. Most of the areas already affected have seen an increasing number of cases.

The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports Chikungunya fever is a mosquito-borne viral disease. The chikungunya virus causes fever-like symptoms, including fever, headache, muscle pain, fatigue, rash, nausea and joint swelling, according to the World Health Organization.

 

The WHO reports that there is no cure for the Chikungunya and treatment focuses on alleviating the symptoms. The most important step in combating the disease is to decrease the proximity between mosquitoes and communities.

The WHO recommends reducing the number of water-filled container habitats, whether natural or artificial, in an affected area, as these are often breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Insecticides can also be used to kill adult mosquitoes and poured into water to kill undeveloped mosquito larvae.

The ECDC recommends vigilance from Caribbean health authorities to help control the spread of infection both locally and internationally