Travel Alert: Canada Issues Warning Against Chikungunya Disease in Caribbean
By Esther Tanquintic-Misa | August 20, 2014 12:27 PM EST
Canada has issued a travel alert warning people going to the Caribbean to protect themselves against the Chikungunya disease now spreading in the region.
Health workers take blood samples for Ebola virus testing at a screening tent in the local government hospital in Kenema, Sierra Leone, June 30, 2014.
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes, according to the WHO. It causes fever and severe joint pain, as well as muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
In its latest travel update on the virus, the Public Health Agency of Canada said the virus has spread to countries in Central and South America as well as the United States.
It urged travellers to first consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic at least six weeks before going to the Caribbean.
WHO said the disease shares some clinical signs with dengue. It is highly likely that a person afflicted with the Chikungunya disease might be misdiagnosed with dengue, especially if s/he is in an area where dengue is common.
WHO said there is no cure yet for the Chikungunya disease. Instead, treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms.
"Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years. Occasional cases of eye, neurological and heart complications have been reported, as well as gastrointestinal complaints. Serious complications are not common, but in older people, the disease can contribute to the cause of death," the WHO said on its Web site.
The disease occurs in Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. In recent decades mosquito vectors of chikungunya have spread to Europe and the Americas. In 2007, disease transmission was reported for the first time in a localized outbreak in north-eastern Italy.
WHO advised travellers to wear long sleeves and pants when in the Caribbean, as well as check if their accommodations are fitted with screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering.
WHO also advised using repellents containing contain DEET (N, N-diethyl-3-methylbenzamide), IR3535 (3-[N-acetyl-N-butyl]-aminopropionic acid ethyl ester) or icaridin (1-piperidinecarboxylic acid, 2-(2-hydroxyethyl)-1-methylpropylester).
To report problems or to leave feedback about this article, e-mail:
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Join the Conversation
- Australia Ranks 11th In World Ultra Wealth Report As 175 Aussies Amass $440B In 2013
- Highest Paid NBA Players 2014: NBA Stars Who Earn More Than LeBron James
- This Is The Lammily Doll With Freckles And Acne That Make It More Attractive Than Barbie
- Billionaire Money Habits: 5 Financial Habits Practiced By The World's Richest People
- Apple Inc (AAPL) Stock May Reach $150; First Trillion Company Talks, iPhone 6 and Apple Watch Boost Price
- Russia's New Tactical Nuclear Weapons Program Growing Confident Against the US: Talks of World War III
- Apple and Google Engage in Thermonuclear War, New Google Translate Chat App in the Works
- Walmart Offers the Best 2014 Black Friday Deals on iPhone 6, iPad Ai2 & Other Gadgets – Reports
- Update Samsung Galaxy S5 to Android 4.4.4 KitKat, Sprint Release and Installation
- More Nexus 6 Problems Arise with Android 5.0 Lollipop, Poor Benchmark Results and Other Issues
- HTC One M8 Android 5.0 Lollipop Release Delayed: Other Schedule and Installation Guide
- Israel''s Al Aqsa and East Jerusalem Issues Threatening Its Multi Billion Gas Deal With Jordan