Via Le Figaro.fr: Chikungunya epidemic in the Caribbean. Excerpt from a Google translation, slightly edited:
It was the French island of St. Martin, 37 000, where the virus has made its debut on the American continent, on December 6. "Put simply, a traveler arrived sick on the island, where he was bitten by a local mosquito healthy, which in turn is found carrying chikungunya forwarded it to other humans through its bite and so on," Anna-Bella Failloux, a specialist in arboviruses at the Pasteur Institute (Paris), told Figaro.
"And once the virus is installed, it is impossible to go back."
From there, the virus is rarely fatal, deployed throughout the Caribbean (French Antilles, Haiti, Dominican Republic ...) to reach the South American continent by Guyana. According to the latest WHO bulletin, released Friday, nearly 62 000 cases were recorded in the area, causing 13 deaths, mostly people weakened by another disease. All deaths are regrettably on French territory, where 48,636 patients were identified.
In the French Antilles, the lights went red. If the situation has stabilized in Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, the epidemic is accelerating in Martinique and Guadeloupe especially, where progression is rapid. The number of new cases weekly now reached 4,500.
In Guyana, the number of indigenous cases remains comparatively low (about 120), but "the situation deteriorates sharply last 15 days," says Christian Meurin, director of the Regional Agency health, which is preparing the transition to epidemic levels in the rainy season.
"Prevention is a priority to keep mosquitoes away, destroying their houses, namely reserves of water near homes: water plants, used tires, car wrecks, clogged gutters," explains Christian Meurin. "When a hotspot is identified, we distribute treated nets and repellents, and wearing long clothing is recommended."
Another concern: the Caribbean epidemic will fuel the spread of the virus worldwide via travelers, warns Anna-Bella Failloux. "We expect an increase in imported cases this summer in the south of France, and the arrival of the virus in Brazil, especially in Rio, where gatherings related to the World Cup allies climate could accelerate the process ."