Chik V Now at 34
The total number of confirmed chikungunya cases in the Cayman Islands has reached 34 to date. Meanwhile the number of locally transmitted cases is now ten.
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).
During the past week, 21 results were received from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA). 17 of these tested negative and four positive for chikungunya. Two of the patients tested positive are residents of George Town, and the other two from Bodden Town, who had no travel history indicating these are locally acquired cases, with onset dates in October. Two other local cases reported earlier were also in October.
“The Public Health Department in collaboration with other agencies such as MRCU, continue surveillance efforts for the identification of locally acquired cases. With about six positive cases of local transmission in October along with nine suspected cases in the previous week suggest that unless the public protect themselves from mosquito bites and take measures against mosquito breeding especially after the recent rains, we can have more cases,” said Dr. Kiran Kumar.
There were 16 suspected cases of Chikungunya during the week 4-10 November 2014 based on symptoms. Seven had travelled to Jamaica, where a chikungunya outbreak is reportedly occurring, and nine reported no travel history.
The total number of suspected cases of chikungunya reported since 25 June 2014 is 168.
The total number of results received thus far is 125. 34 have come back positive, 88 negative and three inconclusive. Results from seven blood samples from 4 - 10 November 2014 and 12 previous samples are awaited.
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 at 7 November 2014, 6,280 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 760,791.
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.