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July 18, 2014
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New mosquito virus presence confirmed in Jamaica

Chief Medical Officer Dr Kevin Harvey yesterday confirmed that Jamaica now has its first imported case of chikungunya.

This following the receipt of a report from the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) confirming that the sample sent on Tuesday is indeed positive for the chikungunya virus. Dr Harvey had previously explained that the case is of an individual who travelled from an affected country and fell ill.

"The Ministry will continue with its heightened surveillance and will be taking steps to reduce the vector through its vector control programme. Individuals should ensure that they protect themselves from mosquito bites by using insect repellent containing DEET and covering their body as much as possible by wearing long sleeved clothing for example," Dr Harvey explained.

There is no specific treatment for the chikungunya virus nor is there a vaccine. Dr Harvey says, therefore that apart from protecting ourselves from mosquito bites, we should also reduce the possibility of mosquito breeding.

Twenty-eight countries and territories in the Caribbean and Latin America have reported cases of chikungunya.

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