Chikungunya, Dengue Update
Public health officials received two positive test results for chikungunya from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) over the period 9-20 December 2014. A further seven results were negative and one was inconclusive.
By district, positive cases were as follows: George Town - one, Cayman Brac -one. The onset of symptoms for the patients was 1 and 3 December which means that they are no longer contagious. One had travel history to Cuba and the other had no travel history indicating local transmission. This brings the number of locally transmitted cases to 15.
There were also eight suspected cases of chikungunya during the same time, two with travel history to Jamaica, and six with no travel history.
Explaining that the number of suspected cases has been dropping for some time, Medical Officer of Health Dr. Kiran Kumar remarked: "In October suspected cases ranged from 20-25 per week, then fell to eight to 15 per week in November, and three to nine in December. There has also been a decrease in the number of cases reported in the region."
"Although suspected cases are on the decline and local transmission has not been aggressive, we should not be complacent. We should continue to protect ourselves from mosquito bites and to eliminate breeding sites around our properties," Dr Kumar urged.
The total number of suspected cases of chikungunya reported since 25 June 2014 is 202. Fifty-six of these patients have reported travel history to countries experiencing outbreaks.
Meanwhile the total number of laboratory-confirmed chikungunya cases in the Cayman Islands to date is 43 with an additional possible 29 cases who had recently travelled to countries experiencing outbreaks. As per CARPHA guidelines, blood samples for suspected cases with travel history to endemic areas are no longer being sent for testing, but are considered possible cases.
To date the total distribution of confirmed and possible cases has been: George Town - 37 West Bay - 15; Bodden Town -12, Cayman Brac - five Little Cayman -two and North Side - one.
Dr Kumar also noted that going forward the Public Health Department would reduce the frequency of its updates from weekly to bi-weekly.
As of 12 December 2014, 19,837 confirmed/probable cases of chikungunya have been reported by all CARPHA Member States, and 11 other Caribbean countries/territories. The total number of suspected cases is 827,404.
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.
The total number of confirmed dengue cases remains at four, as notified on 24 November 2014.