Drum Cussac has issued this latest upgraded warning for U.S. Citizens and others traveling to the country of Jamaica. This information is available to GeoBlue plan members from the GeoBlue website daily…
Government Warns of Possible Spread of Chikungunya
Category: Health and Medical
Severity: 2 (Low)
Source: Drum Cussac
07/01/2014 (Jamaica) – The Jamaican government on Monday, 30 June, warned of the possible spread of the mosquito-borne, chikungunya disease, throughout the country. There has been no confirmed case in the country, although the Health Ministry has decided to take necessary precautions amidst a rise of infected individuals in neighbouring Caribbean countries.
There has been an outbreak of chikungunya in the Caribbean since the first case was recorded on the French side of St. Martin in December 2013. According to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), more than 5,000 confirmed cases have been recorded since the start of the year. In addition, some foreign travellers have contracted chikungunya in the Caribbean and have brought the disease back to their home country.
Chikungunya is a viral disease that is carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Symptoms include fever, severe joint pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. In some cases, joint pain has been known to persist for several months. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against chikungunya fever. Prevention is the best method to minimise the risk of contraction. The risk of being bitten is the highest during the early morning, several hours after daybreak and in the late afternoon before sunset.
Clients can prevent mosquito bites by wearing loose, long-sleeved clothing and trousers to cover the skin. Application of an insect repellent with DEET is recommended. They should make sure the work environment and accommodation is as mosquito-free as possible. This may include such measures such as eliminating pools of stagnant water, which are optimal mosquito breeding environments. Pour out any water that is pooled in things like pot plant bases or plastic containers, and store anything that can hold water in a dry place.
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