The number of recorded cases of Chikungunya in Saint Lucia continues to rise.
Saint Lucia recorded its first case of the mosquito-borne disease in the month of March, 2014, with the first male patient from the east coast testing positive. The ministry then moved to establish protocols to deal with the disease and partnered with the Red Cross on a sensitisation and public awareness program.
This week Chief Epidemiologist Nahum Jn. Baptiste verified the new statistics for the virus via a television interview with Helen Television System. “As of yesterday, we had confirmed 12 cases of Chikungunya. In terms of distribution, we have seen the areas which have been affected are Anse La Raye, Castries, Dennery, Gros Islet and Vieux Fort,” Jn Baptiste said.
Most people infected with Chikungunya virus will develop some symptoms usually 3–7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache,
muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.
Chikungunya disease does not often result in death, but the symptoms can be severe and disabling. The Ministry of Health says that it is monitoring the situation while offering support to affected families.