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Chikungunya Update for 28 July

Total cases investigated for chikungunya since 25 June 2014 is 10.

  • Since the last update on 21 July 2014, there have been three new cases for testing during the week of 22-28 July, 2014, (one resident from West Bay, one resident from George Town and one resident from Cayman Brac).
  • One result was received this week from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), which tested positive for chikungunya. The patient has travel history to the Dominican Republic.

The total results received thus far are: out of eight cases tested, five have come back positive and three negative. Two results for blood samples sent on 28 July are pending.

Of the five confirmed cases, four have reported a travel history to countries having an outbreak, (two to Dominican Republic and two to Guyana). One had no travel history, an indication that the infection was acquired locally. There have been no additional confirmed reports of chikungunya being acquired locally for the period July 22- 28.

Distribution of all confirmed cases: George Town - one; Bodden Town (Savannah) - one; West Bay - one and Cayman Brac - two.

The number of Caribbean countries/territories reporting cases of chikungunya continues to increase. To date, cases of chikungunya have been confirmed in 36 countries/territories in the Caribbean region. The total number of confirmed/probable cases has reached 5,824.

Regional updates can be accessed by visiting the CARPHA website on http://carpha.org/What-We-Do/Public-Health-Activities/Chikungunyahttp://carpha.org/What-We-Do/Public-Health-Activities/Chikungunya. In addition United States updates are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/geo/united-states.html.

Side Bar: Key Facts on Chikungunya

  • Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by the bite of infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, similar to dengue. Chikungunya causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
  • The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue is common. Joint paint is predominant in chikungunya, while muscle pain is predominant in dengue.
  • There is no medication against the virus. Treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms- bed rest, over the counter pain killers, and plenty of fluids.
  • There is no vaccine against chikungunya or dengue. Prevention of these diseases is through protective measures against mosquito bites by use of mosquito repellents on skin and clothing, and when outdoors during times that mosquitoes are biting, wearing long- sleeved shirts and long pants tucked into socks.
  • The proximity of mosquito breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for chikungunya. People can greatly assist in reducing the local Aedes aegypti population by clearing their yards of containers that can hold water as these are favourite breeding sites for this mosquito.
  • Since 2004, chikungunya fever has reached epidemic proportions globally, with considerable morbidity and suffering.
  • The disease occurs in Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. In recent decades mosquito vectors of chikungunya have spread to Europe and the Americas. In 2007, disease transmission was reported for the first time in a localized outbreak in north-eastern Italy.

For more advice on how to control mosquitoes in your yard, contact the MRCU on 949-2557 in Grand Cayman or 948-2223 in Cayman Brac; and DEH on 949-6696 in Grand Cayman or 948-2321 in Cayman Brac.