The Ministry of Health said Monday that it was still awaiting results from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) to determine whether there are more confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
Last Thursday, Minister of Health Clayton Burgin informed the nation that there were three confirmed cases of chikungunya in SVG and declared an outbreak of the virus.
Health professionals also outlined the ministry’s response to the disease, which originated in Africa, but has been spreading across the Caribbean since late last year.
The three confirmed cases were from the Grenadine island of Bequia
On Friday, an additional 14 samples, also from persons in Bequia, were sent to CARPHA for laboratory testing.
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected aedes agypti mosquito resulting in fever and severe joint pain.
Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
Persons experiencing such signs and symptoms are strongly advised to establish contact with their health care provider, the Ministry of Health said.
The ministry further said the Insect Vector Control Unit will intensify its fogging operations in Bequia. Fogging will be done two days per week.
In addition, key professionals within the ministry, in addition to participating in interactive programmes on radio stations, as well as on the television, will conduct a series of educational sessions in various communities in St. Vincent as well as in the Grenadines to build awareness of the threat of the disease and how it can be controlled and prevented, the Ministry of Health said.