Efforts are continuing by the Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment to address the Chikungunya outbreak in St Vincent and the Grenadines, with vector control measures and public sensitization programs currently taking place across the nation.
The Ministry says to date, some three hundred and ninety six (396) cases of the mosquito-borne disease have been recorded here. The majority of those cases have been confined to the Grenadine island of Bequia.
Efforts aimed at eradicating the aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the virus have intensified.
The Insect Vector Control Unit in the Ministry is continuing to carry out vector control measures on the mainland and also in the Grenadines. Fogging operations have also been targeting specific areas where mass crowds are expected to gather for the Carnival activities.
Clean up activities have also been taking place in several communities as part of efforts to deprive the mosquito of a breeding ground.
In addition to the vector control measures, the Health Promotion Unit has embarked on a public education campaign which includes visits to schools, communities and business places to sensitize individuals on the virus and provide information on how they can better protect themselves.
Given that there is no current cure for the Chikungunya virus, the best course of action is to avoid mosquito bites. Therefore, the Ministry of Health Wellness and the Environment is urging all Vincentians to keep their surroundings clean and to get rid of receptacles that can serve as breeding sites for the aedes aegypti mosquito.
Chikungunya is a mosquito borne disease transmitted by the bite of an infected aedes aegypti mosquito. Signs and symptoms include an abrupt onset of fever frequently accompanied by joint pain, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
Anyone experiencing these signs and symptoms is asked to immediately contact their health care provider.