Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr. Merlene Fredericks has revealed that there is a notable spike in the number of chikungunya cases on island.
Dr. Fredericks said this spike has been recorded mostly in the south of the island, with Vieux Fort, Micoud and Soufriere being heavily affected.
“It seems like the disease started in the north and gradually flowed to the south,” Frederick disclosed.
The CMO noted that the widespread myth among the general public that chikungunya is not spread by the Aedes Egypti Mosquito is dangerous.
The CMO explained that this myth may cause persons to drop their guard by not paying attention to the environment in and around their homes for possible sources of mosquito-breeding.
Dr. Frederick has also warned against co-infection with both chikungunya disease and dengue fever. She said it is possible to be infected with both illnesses at the same time.
According to the CMO, there were not many adult admissions from the disease, but that there was a slight increase in the admission of children, especially babies.
Meanwhile, in providing an update on St. Lucia’s plan to minimise any chance of the Ebola virus entering the island, Dr. Frederick has again assured the public that the risk of this virus entering the country is fairly low.
This assurance is based on the reintroduction of the now permanent port health presence at the George Charles and Hewanorra airports, the ongoing training of medical personnel.
The ministry has also been working to strengthen isolation rooms at the island’s hospitals and to buy appropriate equipment to deal with any possible case of Ebola.