MOH confirms local transmission of Chikungunya virus
Jamaica has now confirmed local transmission of the Chikungunya virus.
This was revealed by Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson at a press conference this morning.
Ferguson said samples were sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency which informed the ministry of the positive results on Tuesday afternoon.
He said the affected parishes include St Thomas, St Catherine and Kingston and St Andrew.
The health minister said since confirmation of local transmission, the ministry has implemented intense vector control activities including fogging of the surrounding areas and communities in which the affected persons reside in three day cycles each week.
Ferguson said this will continue for a period of three weeks.
He said fever surveillance and contact investigation is still taking place.
There is no vaccine or specific treatment for the chikungunya virus, which is transmitted via the same mosquito which spreads dengue.
Symptoms of Chikungunya fever include high fever, headache, muscle pain, joint pain mainly in the limbs and large joints and a rash.
Doctors say although it does not often result in death, joint pains and stiffness can last for months and even years.
Infants and the elderly are at greater risk for more severe symptoms of the virus.
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