Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us


Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.


Submit news and opinion for publication


Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.


Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin

News from the Caribbean:

Back To Today's News

CARPHA warns full impact of chikungunya virus still to be felt in Caribbean
Published on September 4, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CUOPM) -- The Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has warned the region to be prepared for the “full impact” of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus. It is eight months now since the first case was detected.

Dr James Hospedales
CARPHA executive director Dr James Hospedales told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC) that almost all Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries have now reported cases of the virus.

“There are a total of over 9,000 confirmed cases. There is an estimate in excess of 600,000 cases in total, most of those being from the bigger countries like the Dominican Republic and Haiti with 37 deaths in total.

“So it continues to spread, we will have an expert consultation next month to look at all the plans and also to see how we better inform and protect people and protect the economy of the region,” Hospedales told CMC.

He said that Caribbean governments were making a “valiant effort” in dealing with the virus, adding “what we have been doing has not been sufficient and the increase of dengue that we have seen in the last years is a marker that what we are doing is not working as well as it ought to work.

“That’s partly why we are having this experts meeting next month to look at what’s new in terms of the science and how can we better educate people and how can we deal with the mosquitoes that are so prevalent,” he added.

Chikungunya is a viral disease, carried mainly by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and causes 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.

The symptoms appear between four to seven days after the bite of an infected mosquito. The majority of clinical signs and symptoms last three to ten days, but joint pain may persist longer. Severe cases requiring hospitalisation are rare.

Last December, CARPHA said it was working closely with the French and Dutch authorities after the region recorded its first ever case of chikungunya and the Trinidad-based agency said it had received notification of 10 confirmed cases of locally acquired chikungunya virus infection on the French side of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin.

Hospedales told CMC that with a population of 17 million people, the region is still in the early stages of the virus, warning “the full bloom of chikungunya virus is yet to come.

“I am saying because everybody in this part of the world and there is no resistance to this virus and we have an abundance of the vector and we have a lot of movement. In six months it has moved to all the islands and we can expect further increases in levels of cases based on what has happened elsewhere in the world where in some countries you find a 30 percent attack rate of the entire population within a year or so.

“So (adhere) to the message that all the governments have been putting out to reduce the breeding of mosquitoes around the home and very importantly for somebody who thinks they have chikungunya… that they take measures to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes to avoid spreading it to their families and neighbours”.

He said those individuals should stay under a mosquito net for the few days they are sick, use insect repellent and destroy any breeding around the house as well as spraying inside the house to knock down any female mosquito that may have bitten the person who is infected.
Reads: 4271

Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.


As a result of our comments feature being overtaken in recent weeks by spammers using fake email addresses, producing a large number of bounced verification emails each day, we have reluctantly decided to suspend the comments section until further notice.

User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Other Headlines:

Regional Sports: