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Government Officials Meet on Chikungunya

Government officials from several agencies met on 2 July 2014, to outline a proactive approach to tackling any outbreak of the chikungunya virus in the Cayman Islands.

Public Health organised the meeting of various stakeholders at the Cayman Islands Hospital.

Discussions ranged from existing preparedness and control measures, to testing protocols, contingency planning for an outbreak, and international cooperation. Participants also discussed staff and public education, as well as how stakeholders would communicate going forward.

Representatives from the Health Services Authority, Mosquito Research and Control, Environmental Health, Customs, Agriculture and the Department of Tourism were present. The Ministries of Health and Tourism, the Airports Authority, and Hazard Management Cayman Islands were also in attendance.

The Cayman Islands confirmed its first travel associated case of chikungunya on 30th of June 2014. As of July 14, the total confirmed cases (all travel associated) reached to three.

Officials urge travellers to see a doctor at once, if they experience joint pains, fever and vomiting within two weeks of returning from another Caribbean country or south-east Asia.

As a preventative measure the public is asked to remove anything that might hold standing water from around their properties.

More than two dozen countries in the region have reported cases of the viral, mosquito-borne illness. To determine if the country to which you are travelling has chikungunya, please contact the Public Health Department at 244-2648.

Minister of Health Hon. Osbourne Bodden said that he was confident that with cooperation and regular communication the public sector would succeed in its efforts to control the disease in the Cayman Islands.

(GIS)

For further information contact: Suzette Ebanks