Chikungunya outbreak exceeds 355,000 cases

Tuesday, July 15, 2014
By Paul Martin

Lisa Schnirring
CIDRAP News
Jul 14, 2014

The number of chikungunya infections in an ongoing outbreak in the Caribbean region saw another steep rise last week, with the Dominican Republic again accounting for much of the new activity, along with Guadeloupe and Martinique, according to the latest update from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).

The total number of suspected and confirmed cases rose to 355,617, an increase of 48,780 from the week before, according to PAHO’s Jul 11 update. Nearly 28,000 of the new cases were reported from the Dominican Republic, while new case numbers were not listed from neighboring Haiti, another outbreak hotspot.

Other areas that contributed sizable parts of last week’s increase are Guadeloupe with 11,600 new cases and Martinique with 8,550, according to the PAHO report.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) said in its communicable disease threat update today that most of the affected outbreak areas continue to report cases, “but the situation is particularly severe in the island of Hispaniola (Haiti and the Dominican Republic).”

Elsewhere, the first locally acquired chikungunya cases have been detected in Trinidad and Tobago, according to a Jul 13 report from the Trinidad Express newspaper. James Hospedales, MD, executive director of the Caribbean Public Health Agency, said the outbreak appears to be spreading to one new country per week, according to the report.

PAHO said the only US territory that saw a notable increase was Puerto Rico, which reported 177 more suspected or confirmed cases for a total of 405 so far.

The Rest…HERE

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