Over 871 Suspected Cases of Chikungunya in Dominica

a_aegypti_0Today the Environmental Health Department hosted a vector control exhibition as part of World Health day activities.

The Department put together several information booths to support World Health Day’s goal of eradicating small insects that transmit dangerous viruses.

Chief Environmental Health Officer, Anthony Scotland says since the 1990’s there has been an increase in the frequency and intensity of dengue outbreaks in the Caribbean with a decrease in intervals between outbreaks and appearance of severe cases.

These vector borne diseases including malaria and chikungunya are spread by insects that transmit bacteria, parasites and viruses to humans.

Due to Dominica’s tropical climate, risk of exposure to these diseases runs increasingly high.

Chief Environmental Health Officer, Anthony Scotland

Chief Environmental Health Officer, Anthony Scotland

Recently Dominica and the entire region have been fighting relentlessly to educate and protect its people from the chikungunya virus that has been plaguing the countries for last few months.

But with frequent air and migration of people from areas which are known to have vector-borne transmission, coupled with the presence of mosquito vectors, the likelihood of the emergence and re-emergence of these diseases is worse.

In December of 2013, chikungunya entered the Caribbean region with the first report in the island of St. Marteen. Since then there have been over 3000 confirmed cases in 11 Caribbean territories.

To date information from the Ministry of Health in Dominica indicate that there are 81 positive cases and 871 suspected cases of chikungunya.

The Ministry has therefore integrated a vector control approach to decrease the risk of dengue transmission.

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