Canada warns against travel to some Caribbean islands
OTTAWA, Canada, Feb. 16, CMC – The Public Health Agency of Canada has issued a public health notice to nationals travelling to the Caribbean in the wake of the outbreak of the chikungunya virus.
“The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that travelers protect themselves from mosquito bites when travelling to the Caribbean,” warned the agency in a statement here.
It said there have been “confirmed cases” of chikungunya on the Caribbean islands of St. Martin/St Maarten, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St. Barthélemy and the British Virgin Islands.
The Canadian health agency said these cases marked the first time that locally acquired transmission of chikungunya has been detected in the region of the Americas.
It also said “French Guiana has reported cases of chikungunya related to travel within the Caribbean.”
“Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic at least six weeks before you travel,” the Public Health Agency of Canada urged. “Protect yourself from mosquito bites, particularly during peak mosquito biting times around sunrise and sunset.
The Washington-based Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) said Chikungunya is a viral disease that is spread by mosquitoes and causes fever and severe joint pain.
Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
In December last year, PAHO and its umbrella organization, the World Health (WHO) said they received confirmation of the first cases of autochthonous transmission of chikungunya in the Americas.
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