Chikungunya (Chik-V) In Jamaica


Over the last few weeks, few issues have been as topical as the mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus in Jamaica.

In fact, (and sadly so) it has reached the stage where government and opposition have seemingly turn the issue into a political football.

Yours truly is now taking the responsibility to educate and update my loyal readers and those with a keen interest on the state of the virus in Jamaica.

Our understanding is that the virus first came here some weeks ago via a lady who arrived in Kingston from another Caribbean island. She was apparently bitten by mosquitoes and well, the rest is history.

However, as painful as the illness is, truth be told, it is far less worse that Dengue fever that has been around Jamaica for many many years now.

And yes, it is only spread by a particular type of mosquito.

Also, the virus has far less than 1% fatality rate, compared to dengue fever that can go up to 5%, and Influenza which kills millions each year!

The only fatality here was a school boy who fell and hit his head because he got very week. Story (here).

(By the way, there is no Ebola here in Jamaica, some people have gone overboard and started assuming, alleging and theorizing)

My humble opinion is that the situation was actually left for such assumptions and theories to develop.

But the Jamaican health ministry has moved now to tackle the issue head-on with some specific plans and actions to a) educate and b) mitigate any impact to the social and economic stability of the country.

In addition to public education, it plan includes major cleanings and fogging of suspected mosquito breeding areas.

By the way, the ports of entries (airports and seaports) and resort areas have had some heavy fogging.

One of the major disappointments I think, was that they kept quoting the numbers of persons impacted which was never believed to be accurate anyways.

In fact, four members of one family from my church was affected over the last two weeks and I doubt they were in any count. They they were back at church on the weekend and looked well though.

Symptoms of the Chik-V include rashes, swollen lymph nodes, joint pains, headaches, fever and overall weakness of the body.

You an read more about the history of Chikungunya here, and later read the report from the national broadcast on Sunday by the health minister.

I welcome your comments below.

On a lighter note

... here is the new Chik-V song by the Astrounauts and Beenie Man! Click the PLAY button.

Comments for Chikungunya (Chik-V) In Jamaica

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Dec 13, 2014
by: Anonymous

Let no one fool you. The CHIKV virus is raging in various regions of Jamaica and St. Elizabeth is one of such regions. From my humble experience, symptoms include headache, retro-orbital pain, photophobia, lumbar back pain, chills, weakness, malaise, nausea, and vomiting, but the hallmark feature of CHIKV disease is a debilitating and prolonged pain. The name itself indicates the degree of discomfort caused: ‘Chikungunya’ in Makonde means ‘that which bends up’ or ‘to dry up or become contorted’. The joints exhibit extreme tenderness and swelling with infected individuals frequently reporting incapacitating pain that lasts for weeks or months. Most affected individuals recover fully, but in some cases joint pain is persisting for several months, and we are now learning these pains can last for years. Occasional cases of eye, neurological and heart complications have been reported, as well as gastrointestinal complaints. Serious complications are less common,, and although no death has been solely and conclusively attributed to CHIKV infection, individuals with weakened immune systems, particularly those with underlying medical conditions have faced CHIKV-associated deaths (about five so far)

Sep 30, 2014
Chick V awareness
by: Anonymous

The virus is confined to specific areas in Jamaica, so not all parishes are affected as yet. Persons are taking the necessary precautions and so this will greatly curb the spread of the virus.

Sep 30, 2014
Chick V awareness
by: Anonymous

The virus is confined to specific areas in Jamaica, so not all parishes are affected as yet. Persons are taking the necessary precautions and so this will greatly curb the spread of the virus.

Sep 30, 2014
by: See

Thanks for your article. In response to the Chik-V outbreak in my lovely island, I do find that the minister of Health was quite slow to act in educating and informing ppl about the signs, symptoms and treatment! I feel really appalled that they're just getting to terms with doing this!! However, better late than never.

Dee x

Sep 30, 2014
dealing with the above
by: Misty Mountain Herbs

The use of a papaya leaf, not the hard veins, just the leafy parts,beaten, squeezed and the juice ingested, will raise the blood platelet levels of the ingester, within 3 hours. the use of turmeric in oil, rubbed on the rash, will curb the itch and bring down the inflammation.
The question has been mooted that what is going around can also be likened to leptospirosis, but I am not aware of the likeness. Anyone out there with specialist knowledge?

Sep 30, 2014
by: Janet

Thanks for the information as their were al lot of scare mongeing and I am traveling to Jamaica in November , I am now fine as I was a. Bit worried thanks again

Sep 30, 2014
chikengunya v
by: zamrine

Thanks for the update as with every social issues health crisis EDUCATION & TRUTH is the Key. Hopefully everyone plays their part in lessen the impact. Yes it continues to b under teported. Members of my fam & friends in diff hou see eholds & communities have been infected. AGE SEEM TO PAY A MOJO ROLE IN SEVERITY & DURATION.

Sep 30, 2014
I'm still coming!
by: Seantay

I agree Darlene... those J'can mosquitoes love them some me! I'll be there in 2 months - everyone keeps saying "you're still going" ummm yes, God willing i mos def be there... Jamaica is my home away from home and I'm home sick! Which may not be as bad as being sick from ChikV but sure seems bad lol

Sep 30, 2014
Smile Jamaica
by: Darlene LeoGrande

I'd just like to say thank you for the update. I'll be coming to JA in a few weeks (can't hardly wait!!) and this virus doesn't scare me. Even tho Jamaican mosquitoes LOVE me...LOL... it would never be a reason for me not to come to the land I love.

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