The number of autochthonous chikungunya cases reported in Puerto Rico increased by another 1,000 during the last epidemiological week recorded ending Oct. 21.
During the week ending Oct. 14, Departamento de Salud de Puerto Rico saw 15,750 suspected and confirmed cases of the mosquito borne virus. This jumped to 16,786 the week ending Oct. 21, an increase of 1,036 cases.
In addition, Puerto Rican health officials reported an additional fatality due to chikungunya, bring the death toll to five.
In South America, Colombia reported an additional 2,600 locally acquired cases bringing their total to 22,034.
Jamaica saw an increase of 100 cases during the past week bringing their total suspected and confirmed cases to 996.
In all the Americas as of Nov. 14, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has reported 878,745 local transmission cases of chikungunya since the first cases were reported in St. Martin last December. Included in this number is 154 fatalities.
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. It can cause high fever, join and muscle pain, and headache.
Chikungunya does not often result in death, but the joint pain may last for months or years and may become a cause of chronic pain and disability. There is no specific treatment for chikungunya infection, nor any vaccine to prevent it.
Pending the development of a new vaccine, the only effective means of prevention is to protect individuals against mosquito bites.
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