Health Ministry confirms second case of chikungunya in Jamaica

Chikugunya-mosquitoKINGSTON, Jamaica — The Ministry of Health has confirmed the second imported case of chikungunya disease in the island.

Director, Emergency, Disaster Management and Special Services, Dr Marion Bullock Ducasse said that in both cases, the individuals travelled from an affected country where they were infected with the virus and became ill after returning to Jamaica. There has been no local transmission of chikungunya in Jamaica, the ministry said.

“I want to urge persons who have travelled to chikungunya-affected countries and are experiencing symptoms on arrival in Jamaica to visit their doctor or the nearest health centre immediately. I also encourage them to cooperate with health personnel who are working to reduce the possibility of spread and impact of the disease on the population,” Dr DuCasse urged.

She added that when travelling, individuals should ensure that they protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellent containing DEET and covering their body as much as possible by wearing long sleeved clothing for example.

Symptoms of chikungunya include high fever, joint pain mainly in the hands, wrists and ankles and other joints, headache, muscle pain and a rash. Although it does not often result in death, joint pains and stiffness can last for months and even years. It may become a source of chronic pain and disability resulting in the individual being unable to attend work or school.

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