Date: Thu 15 May 2014
Source: HTSS Lucia [edited]
<http://www.htsstlucia.org/HTS_News/2014/May/15th/Chikungunya-cases-rises-to-12-in-St-Lucia.html#.U3lLWq7th9F>

Local health officials have confirmed 12 cases of chikungunya virus [infections] locally. Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by the same mosquitoes, which spread dengue [viruses].

Like dengue, chikungunya is characterized by fever and pain which lasts from 3-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Other symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and rash. National epidemiologist Nahum Jn Baptiste says cases have been confirmed across the Island.

Jn Baptiste says the majority of cases involved women above the age of 25. Meanwhile, health minister Alvina Reynolds says her Ministry remains committed to tackling the viral illness, by destroying mosquito breeding grounds and expanding its public awareness campaign.

The Ministry of Health has stepped up its vector control drive, but has made it clear that members of the public must do their part to ensure the campaign is successful. Health officials say as there is no vaccine or medication currently available to prevent or cure the infection, control of chikungunya involves measures to eradicate the _Aedes aegypti_ mosquito.  [byline: Alison Kentish]
---------------------------------------
communicated by:
Roland Hubner
Superior Health Council
Brussels
Belgium
roland.hubner@sante.belgique.be
=======================
[Chikungunya virus transmission continues in St Lucia. It is interesting that women are predominantly infected, but no explanation for this phenomenon is provided.

Maps showing the location of Saint Lucia can be accessed at
<http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/namerica/caribb/lc.htm>
and at <http://healthmap.org/promed/?p=35>. - ProMed Mod.TY]
Date: Wed 23 Apr 2014
Source: St. Lucia News [edited]
<http://www.stlucianewsonline.com/health-officials-investigate-more-suspected-cases-of-chikungunya/>

There are no new confirmed cases of chikungunya on the island; however, health officials suspect there may be at least 10 more. The Ministry of Health announced the 1st and only confirmed case of the disease earlier this month [April 2014]. Chief Epidemiologist Nahum Jn Baptiste told Saint Lucia News Online (SNO) in an interview that as of today, 23 Apr 2014, 10 suspected cases have surfaced -- one as recent as yesterday -- involving a foreigner, but none have been confirmed.

A 63-year-old fisherman, who was the 1st individual confirmed to have contracted the virus, has been treated and is fully recovered. He is now back on the job, Jn Baptiste said. "So far, we have done the investigations. We have not yet confirmed any other case that has been transmitted from that imported case. We also have another suspected case of a foreigner, someone who started to present signs and symptoms yesterday [22 Apr 2014]," he said. Jn Baptiste said the ministry continues to strengthen its surveillance system and will continue to send samples to the Caribbean Public Health Agency for testing every week.

Following the announcement of the 1st confirmed case of chikungunya [virus infection] a few weeks ago, the Ministry of Health said it had intensified mosquito-control efforts to lessen the impact of a chikungunya outbreak on the island. Officials say the impact of the disease all depends on whether suitable conditions exist for _Aedes aegypti_ mosquitoes to breed, since they transmit the disease [virus]. People suffering with the illness will mainly feel chronic pain in the joints, and although it will not require being admitted to a hospital, there will be prolonged pain or swelling in the joints.

"As long as we have an infected person and the _Aedes aegypti_ mosquito is around and they can bite this infected person whereupon they get infected themselves and then bite someone else, there is possibility for transmission. We of course are zooming in on our index case and looking at his surroundings and the persons in his household and places he frequents to ensure we have some focus intervention there as well," Chief Medical Officer Dr. Merlene Fredericks said.
=======================
Communicated by: Roland Hubner
Superior Health Council Brussels Belgium
roland.hubner@sante.belgique.be
=======================
[A map showing the location of St. Lucia can be accessed at <http://healthmap.org/promed/p/35>. - ProMed Mod.TY]
Date: Sat 15 Mar 2014
Source: Saint Lucia Star [summ., edited]
<http://stluciastar.com/is-chikungunya-a-major-concern-for-saint-lucians/>

Nahum Jn Baptiste, Chief Epidemiologist for the Ministry of Health, [said], "We have submitted 3 suspect cases of chikungunya [virus infection] to the Caribbean Health Public Agency, because we do not have the capacity to do the chikungunya test here in Saint Lucia. We have not gotten confirmation on the cases as yet because normally that would take about 2 weeks. I think with the fact that there have been outbreaks in some of the other Caribbean countries, we may have been put on the back burner," said Jn Baptiste.

He went on to confirm that the 3 cases suspected for chikungunya were submitted last week and that these were the 1st set of suspected cases that they have had.

"Based on the symptoms, some of the cases we have had, persons are not presenting with the classic joint pain. So what we do when we have a negative dengue with the joint pain, we submit it to the Caribbean Health Public Agency. So it's only 3 suspect cases have been found so far."

Jn Baptiste continued: "Truth be told, we started to actually actively look for it last week. So we've sensitized our doctors, hospital staff, and surveillance staff so they are actively looking for symptoms and signs of the illness as of last week. But we will definitely be strengthening our surveillance because we realize now that there has been an outbreak in Martinique and Dominica to a certain extent.   [Byline: Kerwin Caesar]
--------------------------------
Communicated by:
Roland Hubner
Superior Health Council
Brussels
Belgium
roland.hubner@sante.belgique.be
===================
[The virus continues to move in the Caribbean, with Saint Lucia as a new locality, if the laboratory tests confirm the 3 suspected cases as chikungunya virus infections.

Maps showing the location of Saint Lucia can be accessed at
<http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/namerica/caribb/lc.htm>
and at <http://healthmap.org/promed/?p=35>. - ProMed Mod.TY]
Date: Wed 22 Jan 2014
Source: St Lucia News Online [summ., edited]
<http://www.stlucianewsonline.com/ministry-of-health-on-active-search-for-cases-of-chickungunya-virus-one-suspected-case-so-far/>

The Ministry of Health in Saint Lucia is currently engaged in an active search for cases of the mosquito-borne disease chikungunya, which has now surfaced in the neighbouring island of Dominica [and in Martinique, which is closer. - ProMed Mod.TY]

At least 10 cases have so far been found in St Martin [many more than 10. - ProMed Mod.TY]

Chikungunya is a viral disease carried mainly by the _Aedes aegypti_ mosquito and causes [transmits] a dengue-like sickness. Symptoms include a sudden high fever, severe pain in the wrists, ankles, or knuckles, muscle pain, headache, nausea, and rash. Joint pain and stiffness are more common with chikungunya than with dengue.

Chief Epidemiologist Nahum Jn Baptiste told Saint Lucia News Online that one suspected case emerged over the weekend [18-19 Jan 2014]; however it has not been confirmed since tests results have to be sent to Trinidad for confirmation. "As part of our protocol we are testing both for dengue and for chikungunya," he said.

Jn Baptiste said while there are no special measures being employed at the island's ports of entry as a result of the chikungunya alert, routine surveillance is being done for such communicable diseases on a daily basis, as required under the international health regulations.
====================
[Should this suspected case be confirmed as a chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infection, it would be of interest to know if the patient has a travel history of visits to any of the Caribbean islands where that virus is circulating currently. ProMED-mail would appreciate receiving news about the results of tests being done in Trinidad.

A map of the Caribbean can be accessed at <http://famouswonders.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/Caribbean-map.gif>. A HealthMap/ProMED-mail interactive map showing the location of St Lucia and nearby islands where CHIKV is circulating can be accessed at <http://healthmap.org/r/1Hgg>. - ProMed Mod.TY]

St Lucia

Flag of St Lucia
Still current at: 16 July 2012
Updated: 16 July 2012
No restrictions in this travel adviceAvoid all but essential travel to part(s) of countryAvoid all but essential travel to whole countryAvoid all travel to part(s) of countryAvoid all travel to whole country


This advice has been reviewed and reissued with an editorial amendment to the Safety and Security - Road Travel section (cost of local driving permit), the addition of an Entry Requirements Emergency Travel Documents section and further, minor editorial amendments. The overall level of the advice has not changed; there are no travel restrictions in place in St Lucia.

(see travel advice legal disclaimer)

Travel Summary


  • There is a low threat from terrorism. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers.

  • Around 67,417 British nationals visited St Lucia in 2010 (Source: St Lucia Tourist Board). Most visits are trouble-free. See General - Consular Assistance Statistics.

  • There are incidents of violent crime including murder. Crimes include muggings and thefts from hotels, yachts or holiday homes and there have been a number of serious assaults involving visitors. See Safety and Security - Crime.

  • You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling. See General - Insurance.


Safety and Security - Terrorism

There is a low threat from terrorism. But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be in public areas, including those frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers. See our Terrorism Abroad page.

Safety and Security - Crime
Around 67,000 British nationals visited St Lucia in 2010 (Source: St Lucia Tourist Board).

Incidents of violent crime, including murder tend to occur within the local community but can sometimes affect tourists. The St Lucian authorities are working with the tourism industry to maintain a safe environment for visitors and. Nevertheless, muggings and thefts from hotels, yachts or holiday homes do occur, and are occasionally accompanied by violence, and there have been a number of serious assaults involving tourists and residents in recent years. See our page for women travellers. There have been armed robberies at waterfalls in the Anse La Raye area in the past and these sites should be avoided.

Maintain at least the same level of security awareness as you would in the UK and ensure that your living accommodation is secure. Apply the same measures if you are staying on a yacht. Avoid walking alone in isolated areas, including beaches, after dark and only camp out in large groups. Take particular care at popular late night street parties and "jump-ups". Be extremely cautious about accepting lifts and use only licensed taxis. Do not carry large amounts of cash and jewellery. Valuables and travel documents should be left, where possible, in safety deposit boxes or hotel safes. If staying in a residential/holiday villa, take precautions to secure your valuables, and lock doors and windows.

See our Victims of Crime Abroad page.

Safety and Security - Road Travel
You can hire self-drive cars. However, you will require your full UK licence in order to purchase a local driving permit, which costs EC$54/US$22. Motorists drive on the left in Saint Lucia. Most roads are narrow by UK standards and in varying states of repair. In mountainous areas roads can be extremely steep and have sharp hairpin bends, some of which are not clearly marked. Four-wheel drive vehicles with automatic gearboxes are popular, and in some areas essential. Driving standards are variable and you should negotiate roundabouts with extreme care. It is common for pedestrians to flag down vehicles in an attempt to get a lift. You should not stop to do so. It is advisable to keep car doors locked when driving. Care should be taken on a number of roads including the main east coast road to and from Hewanorra International Airport, which is still being repaired following damage during Hurricane Tomas in October 2010.

There are regular mini bus services, which provide relatively cheap, but sometimes dangerously fast, travel between all main towns. Standard taxi fares exist for most destinations but you should clarify the fare with the driver before the beginning of the journey. See our Driving Abroad page.

Safety and Security - Political Situation
St Lucia Country Profile

There are severe penalties for all drug offences. A number of British nationals have been arrested for trafficking of cocaine. Pack all luggage yourself and do not carry anything through customs for anyone else.

It is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing.

Certain homosexual acts are illegal under Saint Lucian laws. See our Your Trip page.

Entry Requirements - Visas
British Passport holders do not need visas to enter Saint Lucia for visits up to 42 days. It is an offence to stay beyond 42 days without permission from the local immigration authorities. It is also an offence to take any form of paid employment without a work permit.

Entry Requirements - Passports
You must hold a valid passport to enter St Lucia. Your passport must be valid for a minimum period of six months from the date of entry into St Lucia.

Entry Requirements - Emergency Travel Documents
UK Emergency Travel Documents are accepted for entry, airside transit and exit from St Lucia.

Entry Requirements - Bringing produce into St Lucia
If you wish to bring meat or plant products into Saint Lucia you must obtain a licence in advance from the Ministry of Agriculture.

Contact your GP around eight weeks before your trip to check whether you need any vaccinations or other preventive measures. Country specific information and advice is published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre, and useful information about healthcare abroad, including a country-by-country guide of reciprocal health care agreements with the UK, is available from NHS Choices.

Medical treatment can be very expensive and serious cases are transferred overseas (usually to Miami or Martinique) incurring air ambulance costs. Make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.

In the event of a medical evacuation to Martinique, you may be entitled to emergency medical treatment on the same terms as residents of Martinique if you have a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which was issued in the UK or France. The EHIC provides emergency health cover for treatment in Martinique by the French state health service for which you will have to pay but for which you will be able to claim back up to 70% of the costs on your return to the UK. See our EHIC page.

Exercise normal precautions to avoid exposure to HIV/AIDS. See our HIV and AIDS page.

If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 911 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.

Our Travel Health pages offer further advice on how to stay healthy when overseas.

Natural Disasters - Hurricanes
The hurricane season in the Caribbean normally runs from June to November. You should monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation and the US National Hurricane Center. For more general information see Tropical cyclones page.

General - Insurance
You should take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance, which includes medical evacuation by air ambulance, before travelling. Check for any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for all the activities you want to undertake. See our Travel Insurance page.

If things do go wrong when you are overseas see our When Things Go Wrong page.

General - Registration
Register with our LOCATE service to tell us when and where you are travelling abroad or where you live abroad so our consular and crisis staff can provide better assistance to you in an emergency.

General - ID
Keep a copy of the photo page of your passport and relevant entry stamp in case your documents are stolen.

General - Departure tax
Departure tax is included within the price of the airline ticket.

General - Luggage allowances
Most airlines will allow passengers to check two pieces of luggage on transatlantic flights. However, local inter-island flights will generally only allow one piece at 20kg. You may therefore wish to confirm baggage entitlements with your airline if you are travelling between islands.

General - Passport
Keep a copy of the photopage of your passport and relevant entry stamp in case your documents are stolen.

The passport service for British nationals in Saint Lucia has now moved from Barbados to the UK Passport Service Centre for the Americas and Caribbean in Washington D.C. (http://ukinusa.fco.gov.uk/passports).

If you are applying for a renewal of your UK passport and you are in Saint Lucia, your application, with the appropriate passport fee plus a return courier fee, should be sent direct to:

The UK Passport Service for the Americas and Caribbean
British Embassy
19 Observatory Circle, NW
Washington, DC 20008

The British High Commission in St Lucia will continue to issue Emergency Passports for people who have lost their passports and who have an urgent need to travel to the UK.

General - Money
Although the official currency is the East Caribbean Dollar (EC$), most tourist establishments will also accept US dollars and will quote prices in either, or both, currency. Make sure you know which currency you are being quoted. ATM machines are readily available in main towns and accept UK credit/debit cards.

General - Consular Assistance Statistics
15 British nationals required consular assistance in St Lucia in the period 01 April 2010 – 31 March 2011 for the following types of incident: one death; nine hospitalisations; and one arrest.

More ...