Chikungunya shows up at UWI
Chad Bryan,Gleaner Writer
The University of the West Indies (UWI) has reported that a case of the Chikungunya virus has been identified on its Mona campus in St Andrew.
Dr Blossom Anglin-Brown, clinical director of health services at the UWI, said the case, which involves the spouse of a staff member, is the first reported local transmission for the UWI campus.
This follows the two reported incidents last week by the Ministry of Health of the local transmission of the virus. The first two cases were among individuals who had travelled to countries affected by the virus.
Dr Marion Bullock DuCasse, director of emergency, disaster management and special services at the Ministry of Health, is, however, maintaining that the number of confirmed cases has not moved from those previously reported.
"This is a preliminary result as we have not yet received the results regarding this particular sample from our confirmatory lab, which is the Caribbean Public Health Agency. At this time, therefore, this is not considered a confirmed case. The numbers remain the same until further advised: four confirmed cases in total - two imported and two as a result of local transmissions," said Bullock DuCasse.
Anglin Brown was unable to state the circumstances which led to the individual contracting the virus but said the case was still being investigated and that the individual was being treated and was feeling much better.
UWI Guild President Lerone Laing said there would be a public-education campaign targeting the student population ahead of the upcoming school year. He added that while there was no panic, there was concern among students.
"We plan to use our social-media accounts … to educate the university students who are coming in next week, and the new students, especially, about the virus and the preventative measures that we could possibly take," he said.