Health officials investigate more suspected cases of chikungunya

Hermisha Rolle, SNO Reporter

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The Aedes Aegypti is the mosquito that spreads the chikungunya virus. *Wikipedia photo.

There are no new confirmed cases of chikungunya on island, however health officials suspect there may be at least 10 more.

The Ministry of Health announced the first and only confirmed case of the disease earlier this month.

Chief Epidemiologist Nahum Jn Baptiste told Saint Lucia News Online (SNO) in an interview that as of today, April 23, 10 suspected cases have surfaced – one as recent as yesterday – involving a foreigner, but none have been confirmed.

A 63-year-old fisherman, who was the first individual confirmed to have contracted the virus, has been treated and is fully recovered. He is now back on the job, Jn Baptiste said.

“So far we have done the investigations. We have not yet confirmed any other case that has been transmitted from that imported case. We also have another suspected case of a foreigner – someone who started to present signs and symptoms yesterday,” he said.

Jn Baptiste said the ministry continues to strengthen its surveillance system and will continue to send samples to the Caribbean Public Health Agency for testing every week.

Following the announcement of the first confirmed case of chikungunya a few weeks ago, the Ministry of Health said it had intensified mosquito-control efforts to lessen the impact of a chikungunya outbreak on the island.

Officials say the impact of the disease all depends on whether the suitable conditions exist for Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes to breed, since it transmits the disease.

People suffering with the illness will mainly feel chronic pain in the joints, and although it will not require being admitted to a hospital, there will be prolonged pain or swelling in the joints.

“As long as we have an infected person and the Aedes Aegypti Mosquito is around and they can bite this infected person where they get infected themselves and then bite someone else, there is possibility for transmission. We of course are zooming in on our index case and looking at his surroundings and the persons in his household and where he frequents to ensure we have some focus intervention there as well,” Chief Medical Officer Dr. Merlene Fredericks had said.

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4 comments

  1. jack and the bean stalk

    This is not about grammer u ... Get the point VH is a national shame and that is the problem not grammer.

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  2. Before you ignorantly say staff at VH ( like nurses are useless)work on your punctuations and grammar before writing ...!!!!

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  3. so echnically the mosquitoes does not create the virus according to this quote :- “As long as we have an infected person and the Aedes Aegypti Mosquito is around and they can bite this infected person where they get infected themselves and then bite someone else, there is possibility for transmission" so question is where and how does this virus come about

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  4. jack and the bean stalk

    This is a load of rubish the health. Minister is always on the tv like a star talking about eating fruits and veg staying fit and all kinds of shit when she should be fixing the real problems like Victoria hospital that place is a national shame sick people are treated like dogs and everytine the public cry foul the big heads like rita mason and others come ond nation TV and do dammage controll and the same shit goes on people keep on loosing there love ones at the hands or those uselrss nurses in that sad and shamefull place if only that stupid TV in that waiting area can talk it would tell of all the pain and hopeless things that poor people face on a daily basis in that place there if we have to go by the very syntoms the ask us to look for then i can tell u there is over 200 persons with that virus. How could the health system not no this it is so sad

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