The Ministry of Health has confirmed that there are now thirty-nine confirmed laboratory cases of the Chickungunya virus in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Ministry says there are thirty-seven on Bequia and two on the mainland. The Ministry says it is continuing to implement vector control activities against the Aedes Aegypti mosquito that causes the Chickungunya virus.
A release from the Ministry says private sector and other key stakeholders such as NEMO, BRAGSA, the Tourism Authority, the Ministry of Tourism and CWSA are all engaged in the multi-sectoral approach towards fighting this disease.
The Ministry of Health says it will continue active surveillance and island-wide intense vector control campaign. Additionally, several public outreach programs have been held and more are scheduled throughout the country, to sensitize Vincentians about the virus. The Ministry is urging the participation of all individuals in fighting the Aedes Aegypti mosquito and the Chickungunya virus.
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. Persons experiencing these signs and symptoms should contact their health care provider.
The Ministry of Health has reiterated the importance of avoiding mosquito bites by implementing vector control measures at the individual and community levels, such as keeping water drums and tanks covered, getting rid of unused tires, keeping the general surroundings clean, the use of appropriate clothing to avoid mosquito bites and the use of insect repellents.