St. Maarten ministry: One confirmed case of chikungunya on Dutch side


PHILIPSBURG--Collective Prevention Services (CPS), an agency of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour announced that the country has one confirmed case of chikungunya, a 38-year-old male residing in the district of Saunders. The case was confirmed on December 19, by the Centre National de Référence des Arbovirus, Marseille, France. Residents are therefore urged to take extra efforts to eliminate mosquito breeding sites in and around their homes and businesses on a daily basis and to stop mosquitoes from feeding.

Chikungunya (CHIK) fever is an emerging, mosquito-borne disease caused by an alphavirus, chikungunya virus (CHIKV). This disease is transmitted predominantly by Aedes aeqypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, the same species involved in the transmission of dengue. St. Maarten’s Ministry of Public Health has been actively appealing to the public to reduce breeding sites and clean-up around their properties. Numerous press releases with the Minister of Public Health’s “Get Checked” campaign, and adverts in the Government Information Page (GIP) have been published along with public service announcements in the broadcast media over a period of months in relation to dengue fever/mosquito prevention measures.

Ministry of Public Health Vector Control Team have been visiting homes and other properties on a monthly basis appealing to residents to clean-up and also providing information about the two vector-borne diseases. Persons may call CPS for more information on how to eliminate mosquito breeding sites, at 542-2078 or 542-3003. Other interventions that have taken place are: fogging; training of vector control staff; placing physicians on alert and increasing public health surveillance for chikungunya; national, regional and international public health organizations appraised as part of reporting protocols; yard to yard inspections planned for Belvedere and Oyster Pond area; and alerting ports of entry and providing information flyers to visitors.

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten