JIS News

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  • Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kevin Harvey is recommending mild exercise for persons who are recovering from the Chikungunya (CHIKV) virus to assist with easing joint pain.
  • He said there are some persons who may also need physiotherapy depending on the severity of the joint pains.
  • Dr. Harvey added that while most CHIKV infections completely resolve within weeks or months, there have been documented cases of CHIKV-induced joint pains persisting for several years.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kevin Harvey is recommending mild exercise for persons who are recovering from the Chikungunya (CHIKV) virus to assist with easing joint pain. He said there are some persons who may also need physiotherapy depending on the severity of the joint pains.

“In a majority of the patients, symptoms resolve in 1 to 3 weeks. However, some patients might have relapse of joint related symptoms in the months following the illness. Mild forms of exercise and physiotherapy are recommended in recovering persons,” he said.

Dr. Harvey added that while most CHIKV infections completely resolve within weeks or months, there have been documented cases of CHIKV-induced joint pains persisting for several years.

“Paracetamol or acetaminophen is the initial drug of choice until other illnesses like dengue, are ruled out. Other stronger pain medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and opioids such as those containing codeine can be used during relapse or prolonged pain. Aspirin should still be avoided,” Dr. Harvey advised.

The most common symptoms of chikungunya fever include high fever, joint pain mainly in the ankles, toes, fingers, elbows, wrists and knees, headache, muscle pain and a rash which may last up to ten days. Other symptoms reported with CHIKV infection include back pain, chills, weakness, fatigue, nausea and vomiting.

The Ministry of Health is reporting that all Parishes are now impacted by Chikungunya, with increasing numbers being seen in the western part of the Island. There has been a significant decline in new cases in the eastern parishes including St. Thomas, Kingston and St. Andrew and St. Catherine.