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Chik V & Dengue Update

The total number of confirmed chikungunya cases in the Cayman Islands remains at 34 to date with 10 locally transmitted cases.

The distribution of confirmed cases has been: George Town - 13; Cayman Brac - four; West Bay - seven; Bodden Town - seven, Little Cayman - two and North Side - one. 24 have reported travel history to countries experiencing outbreaks, (two to the Dominican Republic, three to Guyana, 18 to Jamaica and one to St Lucia).

For chikungunya, during the past week, no results were received from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). However, two positive results for dengue were received making the total number of dengue cases to three. One of the confirmed cases occurred in September and two were in October. Two had travel history to Honduras and one was acquired locally. Distribution of confirmed cases: George Town – one; West Bay- one and Bodden Town – one.

“With positive chikungunya and dengue cases, it emphasizes the need for the public to protect themselves from mosquito bites and take measures against mosquito breeding,” said Dr. Kiran Kumar, Medical Officer of Health

“There were 6 suspected cases of chikungunya during the week 10-17 November 2014 based on symptoms. One had travelled to Jamaica, and five reported no travel history. It is noted worthy that the reported cases are on the decline, but we should not be complacent,” he added.

The total number of suspected cases of chikungunya reported since 25 June 2014 is 174

The total number of results received thus far is 125. 34 have come back positive, 88 negative and three inconclusive. Results from five blood samples from 11-17 November 2014 and 19 previous samples are awaited. As per the guidelines of CARPHA, blood samples for suspected cases with travel history to endemic areas are no longer being sent for testing; those are considered as clinically diagnosed cases.

Chikungunya causes fever, severe joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. Officials urge anyone who may be experiencing these symptoms to immediately see a healthcare provider. They also remind the public to use mosquito repellent with DEET on the skin, and wear long sleeve pants and shirts when outside during times that mosquitoes bite, whether in the Cayman Islands or on travels.

As of 14 November 2014, 16,334 confirmed/probable cases of chikungunya have been reported from 23 of the 24 CARPHA Member States and 11 other Caribbean countries/territories. The total number of suspected cases is 762,242.

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.