With the addition of nearly 10,000 new chikungunya cases in Colombia, the total now exceeds 83,000 cases, by far the most in South America. The country has also reported three deaths related to the mosquito borne virus since it was first detected in July 2014 in the Valle del Cauca.
Despite the rapid rise in cases, the Colombian health minister, Alejandro Gaviria told local media (computer translated) that the epidemic is “not out of control”. He did predict that things could get worse during the dry season as more of the public will store water.
Earlier, President Juan Manuel Santos said that they are training 5,000 doctors and nurses to address the epidemic of chikungunya in hospitals and other healthcare centers, which would be reinforced by military medical services (army and police).
In addition to the rise in cases in Colombia, the Dominican Republic reported another 13,000 cases, bringing their total to 537,000 cases.
Since the first locally acquired cases were reported in St Martin in Dec. 2013, the total autochthonous cases has reached 1.1 million cases in the Western hemisphere.
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