Chikungunya Cases In The Caribbean Top 3,200 Mark


ChikungunyaNews Americas, LONDON, England, Thurs. April 3, 2014: The number of confirmed cases in the Caribbean from the mosquito-borne viral disease, chikungunya continues to rise.

That’s according to an update from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

According to the ECDC, there have been 3,211 confirmed chikungunya cases reported in the region to date. There were 342 new confirmed and probable cases in the last week, and 2,238 new suspected cases including one in St. Lucia.

Five of those infected with the virus have died while 15,282 people are suspected to have chikungunya in the region. The French-speaking island of Guadeloupe is showing the greatest increase in numbers since last week. Since the outbreak began in early Dec. 2013, the island has reported 735 confirmed cases, up 148 from last week. It also is reporting 310 new suspected cases, for an outbreak total of 2,270.

The Dutch have updated the number of confirmed chikungunya cases on their half of the island of St. Marteen to 224 confirmed cases, which is an increase of 109 from last week.
Dominica has reported 16 new confirmed cases, for a total of 72. There are 487 suspected chikungunya cases, an increase of 93 since last week.

In addition, a suspected outbreak is being reported in the Dominican Republic according to the Spanish language news source, Noticias SIN.

According to Health Minister Freddy Hidalgo, more than a thousand patients, since February, have come to the medical center with chikungunya-like symptoms but there are no confirmed cases to date.

An outbreak of chikungunya in the Caribbean region was reported from the French part of the island of Saint Martin on December 6, 2013. Since then, autochthonous transmission of chikungunya has been reported in several islands in the Caribbean and recently for the first time in South America in French Guiana.

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease causing symptoms such as fever, joint pain, muscle pain, headache and nose and gum bleeding. Chikungunya is present in parts of Africa, Southeast Asia and on the Indian subcontinent. The more recent large outbreaks outside of the Caribbean were reported in 2005–2006 from Réunion Island, Mauritius, Mayotte and several Indian states.

The first transmission within continental Europe was reported from north-eastern Italy in August 2007. Every year, imported cases among tourists are identified in several European countries.

The Centers for Disease Control reports that there are no drugs to treat or prevent chikungunya. Travelers should keep mosquitoes at bay by applying repellents, covering skin and wearing permethrin-treated clothing. The mosquitoes that pass the disease are active during the daytime.