During the past week, the number of chikungunya cases reported in the Caribbean continues to rise with the latest number of confirmed and suspected cases now nearing 50,000 in 16 countries and islands (including one in South America), with the two countries on the island of Hispaniola being two of the latest in the epidemic.
In the Dominican Republic, where there has been 17 confirmed and over 8,000 suspected cases, mayors of the different municipalities in the country got together to take action with a plan to integrate social mobilization for prevention and control of chikungunya.
National Executive Committee of the Dominican Municipal League, the Minister of Health, Dr. Freddy Hidalgo Núñez , introduced the mayors Preparedness and Response Plan. “We will involve the public together to mobilize the country towards the elimination of mosquito breeding sites. In this task, the mayors will play a leading role , not only because they have the tools to eliminate breeding sites and final deposit, but also for the leadership they have in community organizations,”said Nunez Hidalgo (computer translated).
The mayors pledged to participate in the conference elimination of mosquito breeding sites , controlled spraying , larviciding placement in the containers where families store water and awareness of the disease in the house to house visits. They also made the commitment to become messengers, bringing a message of chikungunya prevention to their communities.
In neighboring Haiti, there has been 14 confirmed cases as reported earlier this week. However, the real numbers may currently be higher and will certainly get higher in coming days and weeks. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.
Peoria, Il physician, John A. Carroll, MD, who spends several months annually in Haiti, working in the country’s clinics and hospitals for the organization, Haitian Hearts, notes in a report today about a fellow employee, Johnny Bruni, who is recovering from chikungunya:
“Johnny told me that he has heard of many many people in Port with almost the exact same complaints. He also told me too that if one person gets the disease in the house, others in the same house come down with it. (A Haitian ER physician told me that a family of four living in the same house in the Delmas neighborhood of Port-au-Prince all recently developed signs and symptoms typical of Chikungunya.)
“Yesterday I went to the orphanage where Maria and I adopted our son Luke. The orphanage currently has 97 children. Our wonderful friends and directors of the orphanage, Hal and Chris Nungester, have 25 kids suffering from presumed Chikungunya right now. And five of their adult staff have the same symptoms. All seem to be responding very well to rest, fluids, and acetaminophen.”
However, the statement he closed out the article with kinda says it all–“When you here hoof beats in Haiti it is most likely Chikungunya.”
How bad is it really in Haiti? Time will tell.