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  • Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse is urging persons at greater risk for more severe symptoms of Chikungunya to seek medical treatment immediately.
  • 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.
  • Persons at high risk for severe symptoms include infants, children under five years old, pregnant women, the elderly and persons with sickle cell and chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Marion Bullock DuCasse is urging persons at greater risk for more severe symptoms of Chikungunya to seek medical treatment immediately at a health centre or their doctor if they experience symptoms of the disease.

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.

Persons at high risk for severe symptoms include infants, children under five years old, pregnant women, the elderly and persons with sickle cell and chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

She said the majority of persons will experience mild symptoms which usually resolve in a few days after taking paracetamol for fever, ensuring that they are properly hydrated and by resting. However, if symptoms persist or become severe persons should seek medical attention at a hospital.

“In the case of infants and young children, persons should ensure that they are properly hydrated and either given medicine to reduce fever or take measures such as placing a cool damp wash rag on the forehead and giving a sponge bath using water at room temperature to reduce their temperature. Do not use alcohol. This should be started even before they are taken to the doctor,” she said.

Individuals are urged to continue efforts to search for and destroy mosquito breeding sites by getting rid of old tyres and containers in which water can settle, punching holes in tins before disposing, and covering large drums, barrels and tanks holding water.

Dr. DuCasse says this is the primary way in which we will be able to reduce the spread of chikungunya and other vector borne diseases.