Chikungunya cases approach 400 as St Vincent steps up mosquito control programme

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KINGSTOWN, St. Vincent, Friday June 20, 2014, CMC – The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment says it is continuing to address the chikungunya outbreak in the country, where 396 confirmed cases have been recorded, mostly on the northern Grenadine island of Bequia.

“The Insect Vector Control Unit continues to carry out vector control measures on mainland St. Vincent and also in the Grenadines. Fogging operations have also been targeting specific areas where mass crowds are expected to gather for the Carnival activities,” the ministry stated on Thursday.

Vector control measures and public sensitization programmes are taking place across the nation and efforts aimed at eradicating the aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the virus have intensified.

Clean up activities have also been taking place in several communities as part of efforts to deprive the mosquito of a breeding ground.

In addition to the vector control measures, the Health Promotion Unit has embarked on a public education campaign, which includes visits to schools, communities and business places to sensitize individuals on the virus and provide information on how they can better protect themselves.

“Given that there is no current cure for the chinkungunya virus, the best course of action is to avoid mosquito bites. Therefore, the Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment is urging all Vincentians to keep their surroundings clean and to get rid of receptacles that can serve as breeding sites for the aedes aegypti mosquito,” the ministry further stated.

Chikungunya is a mosquito borne disease transmitted by the bite of an infected aedes aegypti mosquito. Signs and symptoms include an abrupt onset of fever frequently accompanied by joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.

The ministry said anyone experiencing these signs and symptoms should contact their health care provider immediately.

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