Dept Of Health Issues Chikungunya Advisory

October 21, 2014

In the wake of Tropical Storm Fay and Hurricane Gonzalo, and as the spread of the Chikungunya virus intensifies in the Caribbean region, the Department of Health is advising the public to take precautions to prevent the transmission of the disease in Bermuda, including emptying out containers of accumulated water.

A spokesperson said, “Chikungunya is a viral disease that is spread by the bites of infected Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes; characterized by white stripes on their black bodies and legs. An Aedes mosquito can only pass the virus to a person if it has previously bitten another person with the virus.

“The most common symptoms include fever and joint pains, often in the hands and feet. Symptoms usually begin 3 to 7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Most patients feel better within a week but the joint pain may persist for months in some people.

“There is no vaccine or medication to prevent chikungunya, however there are measures that you can take to protect your family and prevent local transmission of the disease in Bermuda:

“Empty any containers of standing water around the home or that may have collected water during last week’s inclement weather. Buckets, plant pots, tyres, plastic sheeting and other items should be checked and emptied. Otherwise, the water they are holding may act as breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

“If you need assistance in doing so or need your property assessed, call Vector Control at 278-5397. Likewise if you are getting bitten by mosquitoes, call Vector Control.

“Practice health precautions to protect you and your family from Chikungunya if travelling to the Caribbean, Central or South America.

“If you travel to an affected country, reduce your mosquito exposure by using air conditioning or window/door screens, sleeping under a mosquito net, using insect repellent on exposed skin, and wearing long sleeves/pants if the weather permits.

“If you are bitten by mosquitoes, monitor your health for onset of symptoms for three to seven days. If symptoms manifest, seek medical attention immediately. If you are sick with Chikungunya, avoid mosquito bites to help prevent further spread of the virus.

“For more information on the Chikungunya virus and for other public and travel health-related updates, visit the Department of Health’s “Health Alerts and Disasters” website.”

For all our coverage of Hurricane Gonzalo click here, and for our live blog where we are bringing you continuous live coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Gonzalo click here.

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Comments (2)

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  1. Micro says:

    Infected persons should be kept in quarantine until they are no longer contagious. That is the only way this virus will be kept from being spread to the island’s mosquito population.

  2. Who feels if knows it.... says:

    Jamrock cruise to Jamaica…..many locals aboard!