Sun | Nov 28, 2021

Chikungunya out of control

Published:Friday | June 27, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Five-year-old Karla Sepulveda, who suffers Chikungunya fever symptoms, waits with her grandmother for treatment in the pediatric area of a public hospital in the coastal town of Boca Chica, Dominican Republic, recently.


Health authorities here have reported that the mosquito-borne disease, Chikungunya, has now spiraled out of control, affecting persons in all 17 constituencies on the 238-square-mile island.

Surveillance officer within the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health, Dr Michelle Francois, has confirmed that almost all communities in St Lucia have been affected.

Though not stating the specific number of individuals confirmed to have the virus in St Lucia, Francois said there are more cases on the ground than those that have reached hospitals and community health centres.

Limited testing

She disclosed that the Caribbean Public Health Agency has mandated the ministry to test only persons presenting chikungunya symptoms who have been hospitalised, are pregnant and/or are very sick.

Francois said the ministry anticipated the spike in the spread of chikungunya, simply because the local population does not have immunity to the virus.