The Dominican Republic, a country that didn’t see the chikungunya virus until late March- early April this year, months after the first locally acquired cases were reported in the Western Hemisphere on St. Martin, is far and away the country with the most cases, according to the latest numbers from the Pan American Health Organization today.


Overall, the number of autochthonous cases reported in North, Central and South America, plus the Caribbean is approximately 575,000–an increase of 65-70,000 from last week. The Dominican Republic alone grew by some 60,000 cases, going from 307,933 cases last week to over 370,000 today.

Most other countries remain unchanged in cases reported.

This comes days after Minister of Health, Dr. Freddy Hidalgo Núñez reported (computer translated) that because of actions performed by various government agencies, epidemiological reports show a decrease in the last three weeks of the chikungunya virus.

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. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page