MOH Officials Move To Fight Chikungunya Virus
By Jones Bahamas:
Director at the Department of Public Health Dr. Pearl McMillan told the Bahama Journal Monday that both the MOH and Environmental Health officials have been taking initiatives to stop the virus from progressing throughout the country.
“We are working with our partners in Environmental Health, and they are also promoting that individuals in communities do the necessary vigilance as it relates to preventing the proliferation of the mosquito,” she said. “We do not want to have a situation where we have more cases. Environmental Health has already started doing the spraying and they also do the water treatments. That has been ongoing.
“We work with them regularly; we do not wait until we have a case. Once we have a suspect then we inform them and then they go out and do the necessary activities that will assist in preventing the breeding of mosquitoes.”
The MOH, in a press release issued over the weekend, documented the first confirmed case of Chikungunya in The Bahamas.
“The case occurred in an adult visitor who travelled to The Bahamas from the Dominican Republic on June 29, 2014,” the report read. “His symptoms reportedly began the day before travel to The Bahamas.
“He was seen at the Princess Margaret Hospital on June 30, 2014 and was subsequently tested. A confirmed positive test was received on July 4, 2014.”
The report went on to say that the patient had been treated and was recovering well.
Dr. McMillan confirmed that there has only been one confirmed case to date, meaning that the presence of the disease does not mean that there is an outbreak. She did say that in light of a startling new revelation regarding the disease’s carrier, the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, persons definitely need to take preventative measures.
“This mosquito lives around the house,” she said. “It’s not like other types of mosquitoes that you have to go out into the bushes and into the wild. This mosquito is a house bound mosquito. So we urge individuals and communities to work with us as we seek to prevent having any additional cases. This one case was imported, and we are hoping that we have zero additional cases.
Chikungunya was first reported in the Caribbean on December 6, 2013. To date, 22 countries in the Caribbean have reported confirmed cases.
July 08, 2014