The number of chikungunya cases in the Dominican Republic now stands at 429,000 as of Aug. 15, making it by far the country with the most people infected in the Western hemisphere, according to a Diario Libre report today (computer translated). Six people have died from the mosquito borne illness.


According to the latest Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) report last Friday, there has been approximately 585,000 cases reported in the Americas since the first cases were discovered last December.

Despite the large numbers on the Caribbean island, Health Minister, Freddy Hidalgo Núñez says that the incidence of the disease remains a decreasing trend in all regions of the country in the last six weeks.

After reporting some 13,000 cases during the latest week, the epidemiological report states that the provinces with the highest incidence at week 32 are Puerto Plata, with 1,733; La Vega, with 1,370; Santiago recorded 1,210; Espaillat, 1,217; and the National, District 1,315.

Hidalgo says he expects the decline to continue in coming weeks. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

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.