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#486106 02/17/14 12:21 PM
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Health authorities say persons who have contracted the mosquito borne disease, Chikungunya, should remain home as Dominica recorded more than 31 cases of the disease so far.

Chikungunya is a viral disease that is spread by the aedes aegypti mosquito and the island recorded its first case on January 16 this year.

"The numbers keep changing on a daily basis � we have a number of suspected cases and we have a number of confirmed cases. The last count that we have in terms of confirmed cases was 31 cases and we have other persons who have not been confirmed.

"We're asking the persons with the disease to remain at home and to use mosquito nets when they are sleeping and other persons to use mosquito repellents as well," said Chief Medical Officer Dr David Johnson, adding that it was advisable that people take precautionary measures to reduce the risk of spreading the disease.

"We're asking persons to avoid the spreading of the disease or if they are infected with Chikungunya to ensure that they sleep under a mosquito net that is treated with insecticide," he said, adding that the Ministry of Health would be sourcing treated mosquito nets for distribution.

Health authorities have said the disease have spread to several areas across the island and Dr. Johnson said most of the cases could "be managed at home without having to admit them to the hospital".

He said there was no cause for alarm for the disease whose symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, rash, and joint pain.

Caribbean 360

Marty #492556 06/21/14 05:33 AM
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Chikungunya: the virus that "bends up"

Chikungunya is a virus transmitted by Aedes aegypi and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes (the same mosquito species that transmit dengue). The virus's name comes from the Makonde language of Tanzania and means "that which bends up."

Marty #492778 06/27/14 04:24 AM
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Asian Tiger Mosquito - Attacking


Chikungunya is an infection caused by the Chikungunya virus. It causes an illness with an acute febrile phase lasting two to five days, followed by a longer period of joint pains in the extremities; this pain may persist for years in some cases.

The disease is transmitted similarly to dengue fever. It is transmitted to humans by virus-carrying Aedes mosquitoes. Specifically, there are two species of mosquitoes, A. albopictus and A. aegypti, that are extrinsic hosts (vectors) of chikungunya virus. The strain of chikungunya spreading to the US from the Caribbean is most easily spread by A. aegypti. There is concern that this strain of chikungunya could mutate to make the A. albopictus vector more efficient. If this mutation were to occur, chikungunya would be more of a public health concern to the US. The A. albopictus or "Asian Tiger" mosquito is more widespread in the US and is more aggressive than the A. aegypti. It is known that monkeys, apes, and rodents act as a reservoir for the virus. Having rodents as a viral reservoir for chikungunya differs from that of dengue which has only humans and nonhuman primates as hosts.

Signs and symptoms The incubation period of chikungunya disease ranges from one to twelve days, typically two to three. The majority of those infected will develop symptoms. Symptoms include a fever up to 40 °C (104 °F), a petechial or maculopapular rash of the trunk and occasionally the limbs, and arthralgia or arthritis affecting multiple joints.

Other nonspecific symptoms can include headache, nausea, vomiting, conjunctivitis, slight photophobia and partial loss of taste. Ocular inflammation from chikungunya may present as iridocyclitis. Retinal lesions may also occur. Pedal edema (swelling of legs) is observed in many people, the cause of which remains obscure as it is not related to any cardiovascular, renal or hepatic abnormalities.

Typically, the fever lasts for two days and then ends abruptly. However, other symptoms-namely joint pain, intense headache, insomnia and an extreme degree of prostration-last for a variable period; usually for about five to seven days. People have complained of joint pains for much longer time periods; some as long as two years, depending on their age. Recovery from the disease varies by age. Younger people recover within 5 to 15 days; middle-aged people recover in 1 to 2.5 months. Recovery is longer for the elderly. The severity of the disease as well as its duration is less in younger people and pregnant women. In pregnant women, no untoward effects are noticed after the infection.


The most effective means of prevention are protection against contact with the disease-carrying mosquitoes and mosquito control. These include using insect repellents with substances such as DEET (N,N-diethyl-metatoluamide; also known as N,N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide or NNDB), icaridin (also known as picaridin and KBR3023), PMD (p-menthane-3,8-diol,a substance derived from the lemon eucalyptus tree), or IR3535. Wearing bite-proof long sleeves and trousers also offers protection.

In addition, garments can be treated with pyrethroids, a class Asian Tiger Mosquito - Attacking of insecticides that often has repellent properties. Vaporized pyrethroids (for example in mosquito coils) are also insect repellents. Securing screens on windows and doors will help to keep mosquitoes out of the house. In the case of the dayactive Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, however, this will have only a limited effect, since many contacts between the mosquitoes and humans occur outside.


Currently there is no specific treatment. Attempts to relieve the symptoms include the use of NSAIDs such as naproxen, paracetamol (acetaminophen) and fluids. Aspirin is not recommended.

The Arm Of An Infected Patient

The Star

Marty #496272 10/01/14 04:09 AM
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Mosquito Virus That Walloped Caribbean Spreads in U.S.

A mosquito-borne virus that can cause debilitating joint pain lasting for years has spread to the continental U.S. after infecting hundreds of thousands of people in the Caribbean and Central America.

The virus is called Chikungunya, an African name meaning "to become contorted." While the illness, first identified in Tanzania in 1952, has long bedeviled Africa and Asia, the only recorded cases in the U.S. before July involved patients who contracted the virus abroad.

Now, 11 cases have been confirmed as originating in Florida, spurring concern this may be the beginning of the type of explosive growth seen elsewhere from a disease that has no vaccine or cure. Medical and environmental experts are debating how best to quell the outbreak before it takes off.

"In a way it's surprising it hasn't been here yet," said Scott Weaver, a professor at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

Patients who contract Chikungunya have joint swelling and pain, fever, headache and rash for about a week, though some symptoms last months or years in some patients, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

While the disease generally isn't fatal, more than 100 people have died in the Western Hemisphere since December, according to the Pan American Health Organization. Treatment includes hydration, rest and medicine that reduces fever or pain such ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

10,000 Victims

Now that Chikungunya is in Florida, it could infect 10,000 people in that state alone, according to Walter Tabachnick, the director of the Florida Medical Entymology Laboratory, who said his estimate is based on the exponential growth of other outbreaks. More than 700,000 people, for instance, are suspected of being infected with the virus in South America, Central America and the Caribbean since it appeared there, according to the Pan American Health Organization.

An outbreak of several thousand people in Florida could swamp existing medical facilities, putting at risk the state's large elderly population, according to Tabachnick.

"Ten thousand cases would be a disaster in the terms of, these are people that are sick enough that they're reporting to their doctors in the hospital," he said by telephone. "So even our medical facilities could be overwhelmed."

Other medical experts suggest that when mosquitoes disappear during the Florida winter, any outbreak will lessen. Still, it could remain a problem in areas of the state that have already been susceptible to other mosquito diseases, Weaver said in a telephone interview.

'Focal Outbreaks'

"I don't think we'll see outbreaks that large," Weaver said, referring to the outbreaks in the Caribbean and Central America. "But we'll see small focal outbreaks where an infected traveler comes home to their community."

In part, the disease spread through the Caribbean and Central America because many countries in that region lack the financial resources or sophisticated mosquito killing systems needed to prevent major outbreaks, according to Durland Fish, a professor of epidemiology at Yale University who studied Chikungunya's spread on the Caribbean island of Dominica.

Even with money and insect-killing expertise, Chikungunya may be hard to contain, according to Fish. The two types of mosquitoes that carry the virus tend live to among humans, inside people's houses, he said. That's unlike West Nile virus, which is spread by a mosquito that lives outside.

"So you have to get inside the houses and spray them with insecticide," Fish said. In Dominica "we tried to isolate people that were sick with a bed-net so mosquitoes couldn't feed on them and get infected."

Immunity Gain

Fish said officials didn't have the proper kind of insecticide or enough bed-nets to contain the spread of Chikungunya. The disease peaked on the island toward the middle of the year, waning after enough people who contracted the illness built up immunity, he said.

In Florida similar efforts to stop Chikungunya early on have faltered. Mosquito control efforts have been "particularly unsuccessful," Tabachnick said. His laboratory has worked to convince people to remove standing water containers from their yards, such as buckets or clogged gutters, where Chikungunya-carrying mosquitoes lay eggs.

People in Florida "don't see it as an imminent threat," he said. "By the time it becomes an imminent threat it's too late."

The Florida Department of Health and the CDC have issued warnings on the illness and urged people to avoid mosquito bites if they become infected with Chikungunya, since that can infect the mosquitoes, and in turn spread the disease to more people. Tabachnick and Fish also expressed concerns about these efforts.

Vector Control

"I think that the health department and the vector control people -- the mosquito control people -- have to work very closely together, which is I think something that they don't do very well here," Fish said. "That's probably something we haven't had a lot of experience at."

In response to questions about its collaborative efforts to control Chikungunya, health department spokeswoman Sheri Hutchinson said the department has a long history of working with the mosquito control agencies.

"As a member of Florida's Mosquito Control Council, the department collaborates with Florida mosquito control district leaders to monitor and address arbovirus concerns," she said in an e-mail.


Marty #496483 10/06/14 01:48 PM
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Chikungunya and Ebola Briefing

The Ministry of Health is hosting a Press Briefing on Chikungunya and Ebola on Tuesday, October 7th, 2014 at 10:00 a.m. The update will take place at the Central Health Region in Belize City.

The release does not say if Chikungunya or Ebola are present in Belize. Chikungunya has been detected in other Central American Countries.

Marty #496612 10/09/14 05:11 AM
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Ministry of Health Fact Sheet on Chikungunya CHIKV!

[Linked Image]

Marty #497174 10/23/14 04:48 AM
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10 facts about Chic-V

1. Chick-V is a virus that is known to cause fever and severe joint pain and/or joint swelling, among other symptoms. It was first described in Tanzania, East Africa, in 1952. Its name means 'that which bends up' or 'stooped walk' because of the incapacitating joint pain caused by the disease.

2. It is transmitted from human to human by bites of infected mosquitoes; therefore, measures to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, to kill mosquitoes and to prevent mosquito bites are important in disease prevention.

3. Most infected persons present with symptoms of the disease after an incubation period of three to seven days, though this period can range from one to 12 days. Some individuals infected with chik-V (3 to 28 per cent) show no symptoms of the virus.

4. In acute (short term) chik-V infection, there may be an abrupt onset of high fever (usually >102F / 39C) and severe joint pain and/or swelling. The fever usually lasts three to seven days. The hands, wrists and ankles are most commonly affected.

5. Skin signs include spots or spots and bumps resembling measles in about 50 per cent of patients. The rash mainly occurs on the trunk, arms, thighs and legs, but can affect the face, palms and soles. There maybe generalised skin redness, and blisters (fluid-filled bumps) maybe present in children.

6. Other signs include headache, back pain, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and conjunctivitis. Atypical clinical manifestations can occur, involving the nervous system, eye, heart, kidney and other organs. Infants, the elderly, pregnancy, diabetes, heart disease and blood-vessel disease can increase the risk of a more severe course of chik-V.

7. After the acute phase, some patients may relapse with joint pain and joint swelling two to three months after. Depression, weakness, tiredness and other symptoms may also occur at this time. Less commonly, some patients may experience chronic chik-V where the joint pain can last over a year.

8. Laboratory tests may help diagnose and assess chik-V and exclude other diseases that may mimic it. There is no specific anti-viral treatment for chik-V infection. Treatment is targeted to the symptoms. Treatment includes fluids, rest, painkillers and anti-fever medication. Most persons recover without needing hospital admission.

9. Depending on clinical manifestations, patients may be sent home or referred to hospital. Patients with chronic form of the disease may need intensive pain management, physiotherapy, and psychological support.

10. Health-care providers should report all suspected and confirmed cases of chik-V to their parish health department.

Reproduced from Jamaica's "The Gleaner" Newspaper

Marty #498195 11/21/14 12:44 PM
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First Confirmed Case of Chikungunya in Belize

As anticipated and now confirmed through our regional reference laboratory, the Ministry of Health has received confirmation of a positive laboratory result for Chikungunya from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad during the 19th November holiday. This is the first confirmed case in Belize.

Government of Belize Press Office

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