Friday, January 17, 2014
Health officials have said there is no cause for alarm, but the first case of the Chikungunya virus has been recorded in Dominica and it is important to establish if there are any other cases.
Earlier, the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) said it is working closely with the French and Dutch authorities after the first reports of the region. 10 confirmed cases of the chikungunya virus were late last month reported to the agency from the French side of Saint Martin.
Chikungunya is a viral disease, carried mainly by the Aedesaegypti mosquito and causes a dengue-like sickness with symptoms which include a sudden high fever, pains in the wrists, ankles or knuckles, muscle and joint pain or stiffness, headaches, nausea and rash.
The symptoms appear between four to seven days after the bite of an infected mosquito. The majority of clinical signs and symptoms last three to 10 days, but joint pain may persist longer. Severe cases requiring hospitalisation are rare.
CARPHA executive director Dr James Hospedales told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that the Caribbean is at risk but exactly what will happen in the weeks and months ahead is uncertain since the virus has not been here before. He said this is a new virus to the region and therefore the vast majority of people are susceptible.