Date: Fri 28 Feb 2014
Source: HM governor's Office in Anguilla, Ministry of Health and Social Development [edited]
The Ministry of Health is advising that 3 new cases of chikungunya [virus infection] have been diagnosed in Anguilla bringing the overall number of laboratory confirmed cases to 14 to date.
The Ministry is once again appealing to anyone experiencing any signs and symptoms of chikungunya fever to see a doctor. Chikungunya fever is a viral disease transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. It is not transmitted via direct human to human contact. Chikungunya fever is basically characterized by sudden onset of high fever, severe pain in joints especially the wrists and ankles, and muscular pain or tenderness which may persist for several months. Parents and guardians of students exhibiting any of these symptoms are advised not to send their children to school or any other environment for a period of at least 2 weeks following the onset of symptoms in order to avoid the potential spread of the chikungunya virus.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development continues to work vigorously with the relevant agencies to ensure the appropriate preventative measures are implemented to reduce and contain the spread of the virus. The Department of Health Protection will continue island wide fogging and is seeking full cooperation from the public.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development continues to inform persons of the importance of taking the necessary preventative measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. Individuals should use insect repellent sprays/creams, wear long sleeve shirts and pants or protective clothing when outdoors, use mosquito nets, and stay in areas with screens to avoid being bitten by infected mosquitoes. In addition, individuals, householders, businesses, and ports should strive to eliminate mosquito breeding sites from in and around their premises to reduce the proliferation of adult mosquitoes on their premises. They should make every effort to remove stagnant water, cover water storage containers, and ensure cisterns are screened to eliminate mosquito breeding and harbourage. These simple measures will go a long way in preventing mosquito bites and mosquito borne disease transmission.
Superior Health Council
[The 3 new cases indicate that local transmission of the virus has been continuing in Anguilla. It will be interesting to learn if the public information and education efforts will bring transmission to a halt.