Trinidad to host major conference on Chikungunya virus

mosquitoPORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Wednesday February 25, 2015, CMC – The Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) says it will host a three-day conference focusing on the Chikungunya virus and other mosquito borne diseases.

The March 3-5 conference is being held under the theme “Chikungunya in the Caribbean: Meeting Today’s Challenge and Preparing for the Future”.

CARPHA said the consultation will bring together international experts representing different fields of activity related to Chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases.

CARPHA Executive Director, Dr C. James Hospedales, said the aim of the meeting is to support the Caribbean in its response to the Chikungunya epidemic and the growing challenge to health, social and economic systems.

“The meeting also provides a unique opportunity to renew efforts to position mosquito-borne diseases as a high priority in the public health agenda, and examine the potential for public-private partnerships, as government alone cannot solve the problem,” he added.

CARPHA has said the emergence of the Chikungunya virus in the Caribbean in 2013, has led to more than 800,000 suspected cases in the Caribbean and Latin America to date.

The agency noted that the impact on health and the economies of the region has been considerable, especially as a significant proportion of persons affected have long-term complications of joint pain and impairment of function.

Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.

The two species can also transmit other mosquito-borne viruses, including dengue, yellow fever, and Zika virus.

The three-day meeting will discuss the long term impact of Chikungunya, surveillance and outbreak response, entomological surveillance, control and management, clinical care and services as well as laboratory services, research and innovation, and communication strategies and experiences.

The meeting here is being funded by the European Union.

Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)