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Ministry anticipated cases of Chikungunya

April 9, 2015 7:01 pm

“The Ministry of Health had anticipated the recording of cases Chikungunya to our shores considering the fact that it has been circulating amongst neighboring Pacific island nations since last year.”

The virus has been identified in countries such as French Polynesia, Noumea, Cook Islands, Samoa, Tonga and recently in Kiribati.

National Advisor Communicable Diseases Dr Mike Kama says it was only a matter of time before the virus reached our shores.

“Chikungunya virus and dengue virus have the same vector – which is the mosquito – a certain type of mosquito, the prevention activities is the same. So, it’s about destroying mosquito breeding grounds and protecting oneself from mosquito bites. That has been ongoing from last year. I think it’s been one of the biggest preventative measures we have been undertaking for Chikungunya perhaps that’s why it hasn’t really arrived here.”

Fiji recorded its first case of Chikungunya last month.

The virus carrier was a foreign national visiting the country.

According to the World Health Organisation, Chikungunya has been identified in over 60 countries in Asia, Africa, Europe and Americas – with over one million suspected cases and 176 deaths as of January this year.