Barbados confirms first locally transmitted case of Chikungunya virus

Chikungunya virus outbreaks have now been reported across most of the Caribbean and as far afield as "Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans" the CDC reports.

Chikungunya virus outbreaks have now been reported across most of the Caribbean and as far afield as “Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans” the CDC reports.

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Wednesday July 23, 2014, CMC – The Barbados Ministry of Health has reported the first case of chikungunya in a Barbadian with no known travel history. The other six cases confirmed so far have all been imported into the island.

The Ministry stated Tuesday that in its effort to stem the spread, it is continuing surveillance and public education programmes, as well as fogging programmes, especially in areas with a high presence of adult mosquitoes.

It has also called on residents to play their part by doing everything they can to prevent mosquito breeding, including getting rid of debris and stagnant water on their premises, especially during the rainy season.

CHIK-Caribbean-Map-072214

*Does not include countries or territories where only imported cases have been documented. Countries and territories in the Caribbean where chikungunya cases have been reported: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Turks and Caicos Islands, US Virgin Islands, and Venezuela. (Credit: cdc.gov)

The Pan-American Health Organisation (PAHO) states, “Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. It can cause high fever, joint and muscle pains and headaches.

Chikungunya does not often result in death, but the joint pain may last for months or years and may become a cause of chronic pain and disability.

PAHO reports that as of July 18, in 21 non-Latin Caribbean territories, that include the 15 CARICOM member states, there were 579,982 confirmed cases of the virus.