The case of Guillain-Barre Syndrome is believed to be linked to the Zika virus, which is spread through the bite of the aedes aegypti mosquito. (Internet photo)

Two cases of the mosquito-borne  chikungunya virus have been confirmed on mainland St. Vincent, as the total number of confirmed cases in the country has climbed to 39.

The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment said on Wednesday that there are 37 confirmed cases of the virus on the northern Grenadine island of Bequia, where an outbreak began in late April.

The illness was first detected in the Caribbean in December 2013, in St Martin, and Antigua and St Vincent and the Grenadines have become the latest countries to declare an outbreak.

Luis de Shong, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment said on Wednesday that his ministry continues to implement vector control activities against the aedes aegypti mosquito, which causes the chikungunya virus.

He said private sector and other key stakeholders such as the National Emergency management Organisation, the Roads, Bridges and General Services Authority, the Ministry of Tourism and the Central Waster and Sewerage Authority are all engaged in the multi-sectorial approach towards fighting this disease.

“The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment will continue active surveillance and island-wide intense vector control campaign. Additionally, several public outreach programmes have been held and more are scheduled throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines to sensitise Vincentians about the virus and the Ministry urges the participation of all individuals in fighting the aedes aegypti mosquito and the chikungunya virus,” de Shong said.

Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. Persons experiencing such signs and symptoms should contact their health care provider.

The ministry said it was reiterating the importance of avoiding mosquito bites by implementing vector control measures at the individual and community levels, such as keeping water drums and tanks covered, getting rid of unused tires, keeping the general surroundings clean, the use of appropriate clothing to avoid mosquito bites and the use of insect repellents.

3 replies on “Chikungunya virus reaches mainland St. Vincent”

  1. Oh my God. This is a disaster, what measures are in place to deal with this thing? send the mosquito vans them around to spray to spray the hold country. In the NDP time they use to drive around and spray the hold country. What the hell is going on in SVG.

  2. Mosquitoes are everywhere and it will take much more than words to rid SVG of mosquitoes. Even the banks and some government offices are plagued with mosquitoes. I didn’t see any big push to get mosquitoes under control during my visit.
    Many descendants of Vincentians are afraid to visit SVG because of the mosquito. Other visitors will soon find other places go if the Caribbean governments don’t start trying to control dengue and the new disease.

  3. peterbinose says:

    This disease was in Bequia now for at least two months, probably more. The ministry of health knew that and covered up the problem to save damage to the Bequia Easter festival tourism.

    In doing so they guaranteed that the disease was spread to most other Caribbean islands. Carried home by unsuspecting boat and land tourists who were uninformed of the danger.

    Just another pretty typical ULP Marxist government failure of Vincentians and the Caribbean community at large.

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