Health officials in the US Virgin Islands have confirmed two new cases of chikungunya virus this week. The first case has been confirmed as locally acquired; the second case is an imported case with the patient recent travel history outside of the Territory (LISTEN to Public Service Announcement).
Chikungunya is a viral disease that is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes. There is no vaccine to prevent the disease or specific antiviral treatment. Symptoms usually begin 3–7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito and include fever and severe joint pains, often in the hands and feet. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.
Health Commissioner Darice Plaskett said that, “there have been an increasing number of confirmed cases reported in the Caribbean, prompting the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to issue a level 1 watch for the Caribbean countries. CDC is advising travelers to the Caribbean to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
Dr. Marc Jerome, Medical Director Physician, added that “The symptoms of Chikungunya like those of Dengue, also spread by mosquitoes, can include joint swelling, headache, muscle pain, or rash. People most at risk for severe disease include newborns infected around the time of birth, elderly, and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease. The symptoms can be severe and disabling, however, Chikungunya disease does not often result in death and most patients report improvement within a week. If you have any of these symptoms see a physician”. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page