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Chikungunya cases continue to increase on St. Martin


MARIGOT–The latest Institut de Veille Sanitaire (INVS) report of December 20 indicates the chikungunya epidemic is continuing to spread in St. Martin.

Currently there are 115-145 suspected cases, and 38 that are “probable” or “confirmed.” In addition, two confirmed cases were reported on December 18, one in Martinique and one in French Guiana, both imported, while there are also suspected cases in St. Barths and Guadeloupe.

Oyster Pond, Sandy Ground and French Quarter appear to be the main affected areas in St. Martin although Concordia, Marigot, and St. James are also emerging.

Circulation of the chikungunya virus was detected in St. Martin in the last week of November 2013 (week 48). It was the first evidence of the virus circulating in the Caribbean area.

The report reminded that the current rainy season is favourable to the spread of the virus and due to increased travel between the territories during the holiday season.

“Consequently, the efforts of early case detection, surveillance and vector control activities should be at their maximum level,” the report pointed out.

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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