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Chik V Update for 25 August

Total confirmed cases of chikungunya remain at five as reported on 28 July 2014. Since then there have been no new confirmed cases.

Since the last update of 18 August 2014, seven new cases were sent for testing during the week of 19-25 August 2014.

Seven results were received this week from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), all tested negative for chikungunya.

Total cases investigated for chikungunya since 25 June 2014 is 26.

The total results received thus far are: out of 22 test results received, five have come back positive, sixteen negative and one inconclusive. Results of four blood samples are awaited (one of the samples from last week and three samples sent on 26 August 2014).

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.

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

To date, 8,285 confirmed/probable cases of chikungunya have been reported with 927 cases from 20 CARPHA Member States and 7,358 cases from 11 other Caribbeancountries/territories. Total suspected cases are 576,811.

Further information can be obtained through www.hsa.ky

Regional updates can be accessed by visiting the CARPHA website on http://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:

1. 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, use of paracetamol (panadol or tylenol) for control of fever and pain relief, 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 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.

2. Countries Reporting an Outbreak in the Americas and the Caribbean:

Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Sint Maarten, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St Barthelemy, St Martin, United States of America, US Virgin Islands and Venezuela.

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.