The chikungunya outbreak continues to expand, as the head of the Caribbean Public Health Authority (CARPHA), Dr James Hospedales declared yesterday that the virus has reached epidemic proportions. Hospedales said, “By definition this is an epidemic since it represents an unusual number of cases of this problem where we would never have it before.”
The current numbers in the Caribbean and in French Guiana in South America is nearly 40,000 suspected and confirmed cases and six fatalities. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.
On the islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the European Centre of Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) are reporting 24 suspected and three confirmed cases of chikungunya. However, today the Jamaica Observer reports that the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has confirmed 12 new cases . It is not clear if the additional dozen cases are on top of those reported by the ECDC or part of the total number.
The chikungunya epidemic has spread to the Dominican Republic in March with thousands of cases recorded since that time. Now the other country that makes up the island of Hispaniola, Haiti, has recorded their first cases of the mosquito borne virus.
According to a Prensa Latina report this week, The Haitian Ministry of Public Health has confirmed the first cases of Chikungunya fever in Haiti, with 20 people reportedly affected by the disease. According to Corvil Salomon, head of the Epidemiology Department for Service and Surveillance, six suspicious cases were reported in Leogane, 32 kilometers south of the capital city.
The rest of the cases are from Drouillard, Croix-des-Pres and Monovil, located in the West department, along with Port-au-Prince.