Thanks to heightened surveillance, Jamaican health officials report detecting a suspected chikungunya case in a traveler, according to the Jamaica Information Services todayChief Medical Officer, Dr. Kevin Harvey says the individual had screening tests done at a private laboratory in Jamaica which indicated the illness. A sample was taken and sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for confirmation. Should this be positive it will confirm Jamaica’s first imported case of the chikungunya virus.

“This does not indicate local spread of the virus and we continue to monitor persons living in and around areas visited by the individual. We have heightened our vector control activities to reduce the possibility of local spread,” Dr. Harvey explained.

Health Ministry officials say they have had measures in place for some two years in anticipation of the arrival of chikungunya.

Dr. Harvey notes that since there is no specific treatment or vaccine, the best was to prevent the debilitating virus is to prevent mosquito bites. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), there has been some 355,000 locally acquired chikungunya cases reported from Central, South America and the Caribbean Islands since rearing it’s ugly head in early December 2013.

Jamaica Image/CIA