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14 new samples sent off to CARPHA for confirmation of Chikungunya

14 new samples sent off to CARPHA for confirmation of Chikungunya

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Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the environment Luis DeShong says that fogging and awareness exercises will continue, as health officials await the results of the latest tests sent off to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA).{{more}}

Deshong, speaking to SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday evening, said that 14 new samples had been sent off to the agency in Trinidad over the weekend, for confirmation of the Chikungunya disease.

Last week Thursday, the ministry said that sample analysis confirmed three persons, two females aged 56 and 39, and a 36-year-old male from the Grenadine island of Bequia tested positive of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito-borne disease.

“We are still waiting on CARPHA… we have been in touch with them, but they are not ready as yet….” Deshong said.

“Most of the tests are from Bequia, with a small number from the mainland.”

The Permanent Secretary said that in the interim, a team has been on Bequia conducting fogging exercises this week, and will continue two days per week.

He said that on the mainland, awareness through interactive radio programmes, has been taking place, and a number of community consultations will take place, beginning next week.

“Surveillance work is also taking place in a number of areas we have identified as “hot spots” on the mainland, namely Georgetown, Calliaqua, Redemption Sharpes and Clare Valley,” Deshong added.

During last week’s press conference, health officials stressed the need for the reduction of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which is also responsible for the spread of dengue fever.

The Chikungunya disease, first identified in Africa is characterized by an abrupt onset of fever, which is frequently accompanied by joint pain. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.

Persons manifesting signs and symptoms of the virus are advised to contact their health care providers or to seek immediate medical attention.

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