We will be visiting St. Thomas at the end of July and I'm wondering about the status of the mosquito-borne illness Chikungunya or any others that may be present on STT or St. John? Thanks.
You may find this January article helpful:
It's very similar to dengue and we have several cases of that every year. Neither are pleasant to have (touch wood I've never contracted dengue in my 30 years here but know several who have over the years) but they're treatable. The main combatant is prevention with a good Deet-containing repellent so make sure you stay protected!
Do you happen to know if there Is a local "deet" product that is preferred locally there?
Deet here or in the States is same.......except the price is way cheaper in the States. Bring it with you. Recommend only non-aerosol due to TSA guidelines.
I recommend at least 25% deet. Read the label.
CASTRIES, St. Lucia, Thursday June 26, 2014, CMC - St. Lucia health authorities have reported that the mosquito-borne disease, Chikungunya, has now spiraled out of control, affecting persons in all 17 constituencies on the 238-square-mile island.
Surveillance Officer within the Epidemiology Unit of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Michelle Francois, has confirmed that almost all communities in St Lucia have been affected.
Though not stating the specific number of individuals confirmed to have the virus in St. Lucia, Francois said there are more cases on the ground than those that have reached hospitals and community health centres.
She disclosed that the Caribbean Public Health Agency has mandated the ministry to test only persons presenting chikungunya symptoms who have been hospitalised, are pregnant and/or are very sick.
“Although we are not testing everyone …the confirmed numbers that we are seeing will always be less than what is on the ground,” she said.
Francois said the ministry anticipated the spike in the spread of chikungunya simply because the local population does not have immunity to the virus.
“So [based on] the mere fact that the public did not have immunity, we did expect the numbers to rise as more and more people get exposed to the virus and with our high indices of mosquitoes,” she said.
Unlike Dengue, Chikungunya can be contracted by an individual only once, since it gives lifelong immunity.
Francois said the ministry has been trying to keep the spread under control through various measures, including public awareness programmes.
The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) reported that as of June 20 there are 183,761 suspected cases of chikungunya in the Caribbean.
Cases also reported in St. Vincent, Hait and Surinam
There have been three confirmed cases of chikungunya - one acquired locally, and two imported - in the territory and an additional two suspected cases, from which blood samples will be sent to the CDC Dengue Branch laboratory for confirmation, according to Esther Ellis, who will be the territorial epidemiologist for the Health Department.