Approximately 99 people on the Sister Isles of Carriacou and Petite Martinique are suspected to be carrying the Chickungunya Virus and the Ministry is reporting that it is spreading rapidly.
The virus was first spotted in June and since then, there has been a number of confirmed cases in Windward.
Acting Chief Medical Officer (CMO) in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Alister Antoine told reporters at a press conference last week Wednesday that the 94 remaining cases on the sister isles are not lab confirmed but clinically confirmed by doctors because they have the same symptoms as those that were earlier confirmed or came from the same home as those already affected.
“The virus is spreading rapidly on the sister island, in fact it started in Windward and that’s where we confirmed those cases”, he said.
“It has spread to Harveyvale, Lauriston, L’Esterre, Mt Royal, Dover, Hillsborough… so it has spread to more or less the entire island and including Petite Martinique,” he added.
According to Dr. Antoine, the Ministry of Health has been liaising and keeping in close contact with Carriacou in an effort to reduce transmission and to seek to control the spread throughout the sister isle.
Additionally, the CMO disclosed that on mainland Grenada itself, there are 8 suspected cases, of which four were tested and came back negative.
Dr. Antoine told reporters that the Ministry of Health is taking a proactive approaching in dealing with the virus.
He said: “As soon as we have a suspected case, the Ministry moves in, we do not wait until we get confirmation, we have a suspected case we move in and do what we can”.
“…Fortunately, I would say for mainland, all of those tests came back negative for Chickungunya but our question is if it’s not Chickungunya, then what is it and the Lab at CAPHA (Caribbean Public Health Agency) in Trinidad is doing further investigation so that they can tell us exactly what those persons suffered from but definitely it’s some sort of Viral illness,” he remarked.
Dr. Antoine indicated that those cases came from St David’s, St John, Mt Fendue and the Maurice Bishop highway.
He disclosed that the Ministry of Health has increased its activities in fighting the spread of the Chickungunya virus.
“Some of the things that we are doing include fogging to reduce the number of adult mosquitoes and even while the Ministry is reducing the number of adult Mosquitoes we continue to call on the public to proper dispose garbage and any receptacles that can contain water and that could aid in the breeding of mosquitoes because the Ministry of Health cannot do it all by itself,” he said.
“We want to make persons aware as to what the Ministry is doing and what they can do to prevent contracting Chikungunya or any other diseases spread by these Aides Egypti Mosquitoes and the key here is to prevent yourself from being bitten and to do that we advocate – the use of long sleeve clothing to prevent mosquitoes from biting you, also the use of mosquito net, the use of insect repellant,” the CMO added.
Several neighbouring Caribbean islands have also reported a number of Chickungunya cases.