[www.inewsguyana.com] – The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDPC) says there are reports of new cases of the chikungunya virus in the Caribbean.
The ECDPC said in the past week, 293 new cases of chikungunya have been reported in the region, with confirmed ones in St. Martin (French), Martinique, St Barthélemy and Guadeloupe.
New cases also surfaced in Dominica and French Guyana as well as St Kitts and Nevis.
The ECDPC said as of February 21, 2014, more than 5, 900 suspected cases have been reported in the region.
An outbreak of chikungunya in the Caribbean was reported from the French part of the island of St. Martin on December 6. The chikungunya transmission was detected during a concomitant dengue outbreak in the Caribbean. Both diseases are transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease causing symptoms such as fever, joint pain, muscle pain, headache and nose and gum bleeding.
Chikungunya is present in parts of Africa, Southeast Asia and on the Indian subcontinent.
The most recent large outbreaks were reported in 2005–2006 from Réunion Island, Mauritius, Mayotte and several Indian states.
The first transmission within continental Europe was reported from north-eastern Italy in August 2007. Every year, imported cases among tourists are identified in several European countries. [CMC]