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:
Most Popular Slideshows
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 1: San Francisco Giants 7, Kansas City Royals 1 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series - Game 2: Kansas City Royals 7, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
- 2014 MLB World Series Game 3: Kansas City Royals 3, San Francisco Giants 2 [PHOTOS]
Join the Conversation
- Australia's Low Birth Rate May Be Due to Low Confidence in Economy
- Fears Of Infection Spread Prompt Some US Hospitals To Refuse Ebola Patients
- Readers Slam a Book Showing That US Wealth And Power Rests on Slave Labour
- LG G Watch R To Be Available Globally Starting With Europe, North America And Asia Through Retail Sites And Play Store
- Young Teen Fighter Says ISIS Uses Drugs On Suicide Bombers To Get Them Perform The Act
- Xiaomi Redmi 1S vs. Sharp Aquos Crystal – Specifications, Features And Price Showdown
- Verizon Motorola Droid Turbo Leaked Live Images Surfaces, Scheduled To Get Unveiled On Oct 28
- Update HTC One M7 with LG G2 with Android 4.4.2 as Sprint OTA: Fixes and Installation
- U.S. Targets Buyers of ISIS Oil, Threatens Sanctions
- ISIS Syria Airstrike Bombing Has Killed 550 People, Civilians Included
- Russia Blocking OSCE Monitoring Of Its Border With Ukraine
- Russia Slams US 'Double Standards' In The Fight Against ISIS