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40 confirmed Chik-V cases

Barbados had 40 confirmed cases of Chikungunya, with an additional 130 cases under investigation up to September 26.

In providing an update this evening, the Ministry of Health disclosed that there has also been an increase in the number of patients seeking medical attention with symptoms associated with the virus.

However, there have been no Chikungunya deaths.

The first case of Chikungunya recorded in Barbados was on June 3, in a visitor who had travelled from another Caribbean country.

The Ministry of Health has advised the public to practice simple control methods to protect themselves from being bitten by the Aedes aegypti mosquito which transmits Chikungunya.

Those measures include spraying inside their homes with insecticide to kill adult mosquitoes; inspecting their premises to eliminate all potential mosquito breeding sites; using insect repellent on their skins; and wearing light-coloured long pants and long-sleeved shirts when outdoors.

Public health officials, meanwhile, are continuing to undertake protective measures to address the situation, including fogging, enhanced surveillance at ports of entry, collection and analysis of data from public healthcare facilities, health education, and other source reduction activities.

The Ministry of Health has urged Barbadians to take the Chikungunya outbreak seriously and to follow the public health guidance given “in order to avoid large numbers of children and adults becoming ill and putting pressure on health care systems”.

Symptoms of Chikungunya, a virus similar to dengue, include: sudden high fever, headache, rash, nausea, muscle pain, stiffness and severe joint pain, especially in the wrists, knuckles or ankles. Treatment is symptomatic and may include rest, fluids and medication for fever and pain. Aspirin should be avoided.

Source: (BGIS)

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