Ministry of Health Hosts Emergency Meeting on Chikungunya Virus
Dominica has recorded its first local case of the Chikungunya virus in the community of Good Hope, according to officials from the Ministry of Health.
According to Dr. David Johnson, Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, it can be confirmed that there is one local reoccurring case of the virus here on Island.
The individual who carried the disease is said to be from the community of Good Hope and had recently travelled to St. Martin from Dominica.
Dr. Johnson says the Ministry of Health had been on high alert for incidences of the virus, here in Dominica, since it was first contacted by the Trinidad-based Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) on December 13th of 2013.
Chikungunya is a viral disease, carried mainly by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and causes a dengue-like sickness.
Symptoms of the disease includes 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.
Dr. Johnson assures the public that there is no need for alarm at this time, as the person who presented with Chikungunya disease has recovered and is at home doing well.
To mitigate the spread of the disease, the Ministry of Health has adopted a number of proactive measures to include the clinical management of persons with the signs and symptoms of the virus, vector control, laboratory support, response, surveillance of the disease and public education.
Chief Environmental Health Officer, Anthony Scotland, informed that measures have already been put in place, beginning with observing houses for mosquito breeding in the site community.
While the Ministry of Health will be collecting data from the individual cases as soon as they occur, National Epidemiologist, Dr. Paul Ricketts has also advised persons to take the necessary precautions against acquiring this virus.