BRIDGETOWN, Barbados — Health authorities in Barbados indicate that there are now more than sixty suspected cases of the Chikungunya virus on the island, even though the number of confirmed cases remains at seven.
This information was conveyed by Dr. Marquita Gittens-St Hilaire of the UWI Faculty of Medical Sciences at Cave Hill, during a special UWI lecture titled Dengue and Chikungunya: the Barbados Experience.
Of the seven confirmed cases, six were imported and one was locally transmitted, all within the months of June and July.
Barbados currently does not have the facilities to confirm cases by laboratory tests and must send suspected samples to the Caribbean Public Health Agency for confirmation.
Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease spread by the Aedes Egypti mosquito, which also transmits Dengue Fever.
Chikungunya is characterized by a sudden onset of fever which is frequently accompanied by joint pain. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. The joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days – or may be prolonged to weeks in rare cases.