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Chikungunya virus hits JVD PDF Print E-mail
Written by NGOVOU GYANG   
Monday, 13 January 2014 16:52

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The Virgin Islands has joined the short list of Caribbean islands with confirmed cases of a mosquito-borne virus that is new to this hemisphere, government announced Monday.

Three Jost Van Dyke residents have been diagnosed with chikingunya, which is rarely fatal but causes similar symptoms as dengue, according to the Ministry of Health and Social Development.

“It is important to note that these confirmed cases were not exposed to travel, which alerts us that the virus is already in our mosquito population,” said Dr. Ronald Georges, a medical officer in the ministry.

So far, there have been nearly 130 cases of the virus recorded in the Caribbean since it was first detected in St. Martin in December. The French side of that island has confirmed 98 cases, while the neighbouring Dutch side has recorded one.

Nearby Martinique has recorded 13 cases, Guadeloupe three, and St. Barthelemy seven, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health officials have since stepped up fogging measures and are focusing on eliminating mosquito-breeding areas, according to government.

The virus is transmitted to humans through infected mosquitoes. Symptoms include high fever; severe pain in the joints and muscles; headache; nausea and rash. Residents who experience these symptoms are advised to see a doctor.

See the Jan. 16, 2014 edition for full coverage.


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