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Chikungunya virus reported in Guyana

Thursday, May 29, 2014

GEORGETOWN, Guyana—Guyana has confirmed two cases of the chikungunya virus and health officials said they would step up their vector control exercise in the areas where the cases had been detected. Health Minister Dr Bheri Ramsaran said the two cases were of a toddler, and a woman from the Cumberland and Canefield, Canje areas in Region Six. 



He said the two cases of the mosquito-borne virus had been confirmed by the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPA) after 30 samples had been sent there for testing. 



“Since last year, we have been quietly getting our work done by increasing fogging activities, public health awareness programmes, spraying and at the same time education programmes to encourage citizens, especially in densely populated areas to desist from degrading their environment which will create condition for breeding of mosquitoes,” he added. Ramsaran said that would help in the fight against all types of vector-borne diseases, including, malaria and dengue.


Meanwhile, Ramsaran said all health facilities have readily available medication for the effective treatment of any vector-borne disease and that the authorities were urging citizens to appropriately discard tyres, unwanted containers and to keep their surroundings clean so as to eliminate breeding grounds for the vector. The most common symptoms of Chikungunya are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.


Chikungunya, a virus more commonly found in Africa and Asia and transmitted by the same daytime-biting aedes aegypti mosquito that causes the more deadly dengue fever, was first detected in the eastern Caribbean five months ago. Since then, it has jumped from island to island, sending thousands of patients to the hospital with painful joints, pounding headaches and spiking fevers. Chikungunya is normally not deadly and symptoms begin to dissipate within a week.





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