Health authorities in Barbados have stepped up their surveillance as cases of the chikungunya virus continue to rise in the region.
Acting Chief Medical Officer Dr Anton Best says while the country remains chikungunya-free, at least for the time being, the Ministry of Health remains on high alert.
“We are very concerned because it is in the region so it’s very possible that it will get here at some point and that is why the ministry is keeping an eye out for any cases of chikingunya,” he told Barbados TODAY.
Since being confirmed on the Caribbean island of St Martin/St Maarten last year, the mosquito-borne viral disease has spread to Dominica, Guadeloupe, Martinique, St Barthélemy and the British Virgin Islands.
The symptoms include fever, severe joint and muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
Earlier this week, the Public Health Agency of Canada issued a public health notice to its nationals traveling to the region in the wake of the outbreak.