Chikungunya Update

21st February, 2014

In December 2013, the World Health Organization (WHO) received reports of cases of Chikungunya (CHIKV) in St Martin. Additional cases have since been reported in other countries in the Caribbean Region. To date, cases of Chikungunya have been confirmed in Anguilla, Aruba, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Barthelemy, St Maarten and St. Martin. The total number of confirmed/probable cases has reached 1,457 with 1 death so far (CARPHA).

Chikungunya is a viral disease that is transmitted to people mainly through the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the same species that causes yellow  and dengue fevers. There is no vaccine or medication to prevent chikungunya virus infection or disease but you can reduce the transmission of this infection by limiting your exposure to mosquitoes and removing their breeding sites from around you.

Personal Protection strategies:
• Follow local vector control recommendations
• Use mosquito repellents on exposed skin
• Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants
• Use air conditioning or window and door screens
• You should consider not travelling to areas with ongoing outbreaks.

Community strategies:
• Empty standing water from outdoor containers
• Cover all water tanks or drums used for agricultural purposes
• Clean swimming pools regularly
• Arrange for all discarded household appliances like stoves, washing machines, refrigerators and computers to be taken   directly to the New Windward Landfill Dump sites in Jack-Boy Hill, since these can collect lots of rainwater if left in your yards or surroundings.

Remember to empty or remove all places or items that can store or allow water to stand in your surroundings as these can service as potential breeding sites for mosquitoes.

For more information contact the Vector Control Unit, Environmental Health – Telephone 491- 6057..