Chikungunya in Caribbean reported with additional cases under investigation

by Wayne Ghesquiere on January 31, 2014

Over 480 confirmed cases of chikungunya have been reported in the Carribean as of January 20, 2014; many additional cases are still under investigation.  Cases have been confirmed in Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, Martinique, Saint Barthelemy, Guadeloupe, French Guiana, British Virgin Islands.

The Carribean outbreak of chikungunya was discovered during an on-going dengue fever outbreak.  Chikungunya virus is transmitted from human to human through the bite of an infected mosquito.  The chikungunya mosquito does bite both day and night therefore insect precautions are crucial during travel. The incubation period for the virus is 3-7 days.

Tranmission is not expected in Canada as the mosquitoes who carry the virus are not found here.

Travel recommendations include:  seeking a travel health consultation prior to departure to ensure vaccines are up to date and you are educated on proper insect precautions.  For further information contact your local travel clinic or see our pages on chikungunya, dengue fever and insect precautions.

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