Thanks to Lucie Lecomte for sending the link to this report in MedPageToday.com: Chikungunya Cases Rising in Caribbean. Excerpt:
In just a few months, a virus new to the Americas has made itself quite at home in the Caribbean.
The Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) is reporting more than 9,000 confirmed cases of chikungunya virus and more than 10 times that number of suspected cases.
And health officials in Florida are warning that at least four people -- all with recent travel to the Caribbean -- have tested positive for chikungunya, although there is no local spread as yet.
The mosquito-borne virus -- it's pronounced chik-un-GUHN-ya -- is widespread in Asia and Africa and is considered endemic in some regions. But until late last year, cases in the Americas were imported by travelers, rather than being homegrown infections.
In December, the World Health Organization reported that an investigation into possible dengue fever in St. Martin turned up two confirmed, four probable, and 20 suspected cases of chikungunya.
The patients had not traveled, indicating the first local transmissions.
Since then, the virus has spread rapidly in the region. As of May 16, the PAHO was reporting 4,542 confirmed cases in the French- and Spanish-speaking islands and another 4,853 cases in the English- and Dutch-speaking islands.
The agency also reported more than 100,000 suspected cases, divided roughly equally between the two linguistic groupings. There have been seven deaths, all in the French- and Spanish-speaking islands.
With the exception of a few dozen imported cases, all of the patients acquired the disease in their home islands, the PAHO said.