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July 23, 2014
Star News


Gov't urges cooperation of travellers from chikungunya-affected countries

The Ministry of Health is encouraging persons who have travelled to chikungunya affected countries and are experiencing symptoms on arrival in Jamaica to visit their doctor or nearest health centre immediately.

Director, Emergency, Disaster Management and Special Services, Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse, is also urging persons to cooperate with health personnel who are working to reduce the possibility of spread and impact of the disease on the population.

"We are asking persons who feel they have symptoms of chikungunya to allow the health team to manage the situation by giving their full cooperation. As Jamaica has had no local transmission, we are trying to protect the population, including your own family members and others who may be have been exposed," she said.

She added that chikungunya is an important public-health issue, and so it is essential that every citizen cooperates in efforts to reduce the spread of the disease. Dr. DuCasse notes that although there is no local spread so far, more and more travel is expected during the summer months and, therefore, increased risk of transmission.

"I want to urge persons who travel to chikungunya-affected countries to protect themselves as much as possible from mosquito bites. When you travel to these countries, use insect repellent containing DEET, wear clothing that covers your body as much as possible and sleep under a mosquito net if available," she said.

Chikungunya is spread by the Aedes aegypti, which is a day- biting mosquito that will almost always be found in and around areas where people live, work and play.

Symptoms of chikungunya fever include high fever, joint pain, mainly in the hands, wrists and ankles and other joints; headache, muscle pain and a rash.

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