Via the Jamaica Observer: 17 chikungunya cases confirmed in Suriname, widespread infection expected. Excerpt:
The Suriname Bureau of Public Health (BOG) has confirmed 17 cases of the mosquito-borne chikungunya disease, and widespread infection is expected.
During a press conference late Wednesday, officials from BOG, the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) and the Pan-American Health Organization warned that if precautionary measures are not taken, the virus could affect thousands.
The first Chikungunya-case was confirmed on June 7 after a man who returned from vacation in St. Martin developed symptoms of the disease, said Maureen Van Dijk-Wijngaarde, deputy director of BOG.
Last week a second case, a woman who returned from Guyana, was confirmed, while the remaining 15 were confirmed on Wednesday.
“Chikungunya is a new virus for Suriname. Since there is no resistance as yet, everyone here is vulnerable. Therefore in the coming months we may expect thousands to be infected by the virus”, CARPHA’s director, James Hospedales, warned.
He further noted that currently the disease has been spread to 24 countries and territories in the Caribbean, with so far a total of some 5,000 confirmed cases.
The Jamaica Observer also reports that on the island of St. Lucia, chikungunya is out of control.