The number of confirmed cases of chikungunya in Barbados now stands at 40. And, according to the Ministry of Health, as of September 26, there were also an additional 130 cases under investigation.
The Ministry’s latest update revealed that while there have been reports of increases in the number of patients seeking medical attention with symptoms, no deaths have been associated with the virus.
The first case of chikungunya recorded in Barbados was on June 3, in a visitor who had travelled from another Caribbean country.
The Ministry of Health has advised the public to practise simple control methods to protect themselves from being bitten by the mosquitoes which transmit chikungunya.
These include spraying inside their homes with insecticide to kill adult mosquitoes; inspecting their premises to eliminate all potential mosquito breeding sites; using insect repellent on their skins; and wearing light-coloured long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors.
Public health officials, meanwhile, are continuing to undertake protective measures to address the situation, including fogging, enhanced surveillance at ports of entry, collection and analysis of data from public healthcare facilities, health education, and other source reduction activities.
The Ministry of Health has urged Barbadians to take the chikungunya outbreak seriously and to follow the public health guidance given “in order to avoid large numbers of children and adults becoming ill and putting pressure on healthcare systems”.
Chikungunya, a virus similar to dengue, is transmitted by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
Symptoms include sudden high fever, headache, rash, nausea, muscle pain, stiffness and severe joint pain, especially in the wrists, knuckles or ankles. Treatment is symptomatic and may include rest, fluids and medication for fever and pain.
Aspirin should be avoided. (PR)