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Chikungunya cases on increase in SVG – Ministry

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A local health official has confirmed that the number of Chikungunya cases being reported across St Vincent and the Grenadines is on the increase.{{more}}

Dr Rosmond Adams, chair of the National Surveillance Committee within the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment, admitted that the increase is due to the fact

that the mosquito population is “very hard to control.”

He assured, however, that the Ministry is still pressing forward with its efforts to get the spread of the disease under control.

“We still continue to do our surveillance… our vector control… and we continue to educate people on the disease and what they should do to protect themselves,” said Dr Adams.

As at June 30, 2014, the Ministry had received reports of 485 Chikungunya cases, with the majority being reported on the Grenadine island of Bequia. The new figures were not available up to the time this article was being published.

Dr Adams said that as Chikungunya has been present in SVG for a while, the initial panic over the disease has diminished now, so members of the public appear to be more relaxed in their attitude towards it.

He appealed for persons to be more vigilant about the disease’s transmission and prevention, in the hopes that this would result in an eventual decrease in the number of reported cases.

Chikungunya is a disease spread through the bite of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito – which also spreads Dengue. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pain, swelling and a rash.

Precautions against the disease include using insect repellent, wearing appropriate clothing (long-sleeved shirts, long pants and hats) and using a bed net when sleeping. (JSV)

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