Barbados is still free of the chikungunya disease.
This comes as the Ministry of Health today
reported that it is continuing to monitor the
outbreak of the Aedes aegypti mosquito-borne
disease in other French regional territories and
Dutch St Maarten.
New cases have also been detected in one of the
British Virgin Islands; however, no cases have been
detected in Barbados to date, the ministry said.
The World Health Organization reported that
between December 6 and December 31, 2013,
transmission of the chikungunya virus had been
documented in five French overseas territories.
Chikungunya, a virus similar to dengue, is
transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, as well
as the Aedes albopictus mosquito. The symptoms
are similar to dengue fever and may include a sudden
high fever, headache, rash, nausea and muscle pain.
However, stiffness and severe joint pain, especially
in the wrists, knuckles or ankles, are more often
associated with chikungunya. Fever may last from a
few days to a few weeks and some infected patients
have reported debilitating arthritic pain persisting for
weeks or months. Severe forms of the disease do not
There is no vaccine for chikungunya. Treatment
is symptomatic and may include rest, fluids, and
medication for fever and pain. However, aspirin
should be avoided.
The Ministry of Health reported it would continue
to conduct epidemiological surveillance to collect
and analyse data from the various public healthcare
facilities on a weekly basis. It will also carry out
training to update healthcare workers on the
implementation of the Preparedness and Response
Plan for the chikungunya virus.
Members of the public are advised to continue
to search out and destroy mosquitoes on their
properties to prevent the spread of vector borne
diseases. Individuals may be guided by a checklist
on the prevention of dengue, which has been mailed
This checklist may be downloaded from the
Ministry’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.