Rising cases of Chikungunya

Chief Environmental Officer, Andre Worme

Chief Environmental Officer, Andre Worme

Grenada has 183 reported cases of the dreaded Chikungunya virus, according to Health Minister, Dr Clarice Modeste-Curwen.

Speaking to reporters during the weekly post-Cabinet Press Briefing,
the minister said that of the 183-recorded cases of Chikungunya virus on the island, 176 were reported on the sister isles of Carriacou and Petite Martinique with 37 in Windward and 22 in Lesterre and 32 in Petite Martinique.

There were seven reported cases for St Andrew and St George on mainland Grenada.

The first cases of suspected Chikungunya virus recorded were in Carriacou but the virus has since spread to Petite Martinique and the mainland.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is prevalent in Grenada, carries the Chikungunya virus.

Infected persons experience symptoms such as high fever, extreme joint pains, headaches and back pain.

Chief Environmental Officer, Andre Worme told reporters that a number of suspected cases have been sent for testing at the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) in Trinidad and Tobago.

He said the ministry is awaiting the results but continues to be vigilant with its public awareness activities.

He disclosed that during the just-concluded carnival season, several fogging exercises were undertaken specifically around the areas used for holding carnival events.

Health Minister Modeste-Curwen, who is a medical doctor by profession, expressed a level of disappointment with the complacency of nationals to clean their surroundings in order to eliminate mosquito breeding grounds.

She told the media that while the Vector Control Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment has had some success in decreasing the mosquito population, the responsibility lies with individuals to keep their homes and surroundings clean and ensure that no water is left exposed for mosquitoes to re-populate.

The female government minister said that while there are no recorded deaths from the Chikungunya outbreak, she is concerned with the level of pain and the debilitating effects the infection has on the body.

Minister Modeste-Curwen also addressed the issue of  the deadly Ebola virus disease (EVD) that is now creating havoc in some African countries.

She said local health officials are on full alert over the possibility of an outbreak in Grenada.

She stated that Ebola should be a major concern to all nationals as it has a high mortality rate of up to 90% in all confirmed cases leading to death.

There is no known cure for Ebola.

The minister acknowledged that health officials in Grenada have their work cut out for them in terms of educating the population and medical providers on the viruses now posing problems.

Medical personnel have been stationed at the Maurice Bishop International Airport (MBIA) to scan passengers for the Ebola disease.

Health officials are in the process of trying to come up with a suitable facility to be used as a quarantine area in the event of an Ebola outbreak.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Ebola virus disease, formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever, is a severe, often fatal illness in humans.

The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads in the human population through human-to-human transmission.

Fruit bats of the Pteropodidae family are considered to be the natural host of the Ebola virus.

Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care. No authorized vaccine is available for use by people affected by Ebola.

The virus first appeared in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks, in Nzara, Sudan, and in Yambuku, Democratic Republic of Congo.

It was named after the Ebola River where the disease was discovered.

Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.