Search Local News

EDITORIAL — Prepare for chikungunya PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 12:29

Add this to your website

The Virgin Islands should act now to prepare for the likely spread of the chikungunya virus, which was reported in the territory last week.

The mosquito-borne illness, which was confirmed in three Jost Van Dyke residents, was first diagnosed in the Western Hemisphere last month in St. Martin.

Since then, it has spread fairly rapidly: There have been more than 200 cases reported on that island, and others in St. Barthélemy, Martinique, Dominica, and Guadeloupe.

Though the virus is very rarely fatal, it is serious. Symptoms, which are similar to those caused by dengue, include high fever; severe pain in the joints and muscles; headache; nausea; and rash.

Because there is no vaccination or cure for chikungunya, which first appeared in Tanzania in 1952, prevention means reducing the spread of the carrier, the Aedes aegypti mosquito.

To that end, the government rightly has stepped up fogging and bush-trimming initiatives. All residents should join the effort by cleaning their yards and clearing their property of standing water, where mosquitoes breed.

Residents also should do what they can to protect themselves from mosquito bites, and heed health officials’ advice to install mosquito nets on cribs to safeguard infants, who are particularly vulnerable.

Meanwhile, the territory’s tourism industry should have a plan of action.

The United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention issued a travel advisory for tourists visiting the region. Though the advisory is the CDC’s lowest level — a “watch” advising travellers to “practice usual precautions” — the tourism industry should be prepared for potential negative effects.

In part, this will mean ensuring that potential visitors have the facts about the virus and don’t panic for lack of understanding.

Early action, education and Caribbean-wide collaboration are the keys to properly tackling the threats posed by chikungunya.


New group plans ‘exquisite’ boat show

Hoping to capitalise on the expanding interest in powerboats, a group of young people is organising a boat show on May 24 designed to draw visitors from across the region.

Read more

Customs commish explains challenges

With more than 34,000 vessels and 6,000 containers cleared, the Customs Department had a busy year

Read more

After bailout, T&T company raking in record profits

An insurance conglomerate that received a massive bailout from the Trinidad and Tobago

Read more

Business Briefs (Feb. 27, 2014)

Shipping Registry

The BVI Shipping Registry registered 287 new vessels in the Virgin Islands in 2013

Read more

Cops show off talents at variety show

“We are all affected by crime, whether it’s the police or civilians,” Police Constable Thelma Travenir told a gathering of nearly 150 people at the Road Town Police Station during the Police Week Variety Show on Saturday.

Read more

In their Words: Margaret Borde

Ms. Borde, a Lower Estate resident, worked in the civil service for 30 years.

Read more

Little League organisers call foul

The BVI Little League recently got under way at the Old Recreation Grounds, but organisers are unhappy that a handful of the league’s players are travelling to the United States Virgin Islands to compete.

Read more

Sports Briefs (Feb. 27, 2014)


On March 3, the territory will celebrate World Tennis Day.

Read more

Subscribe Ad


Copyright © 2016 The BVI Beacon. All Rights Reserved.