Caribbean chikungunya cases top 738,000

Tuesday, September 23, 2014
By Paul Martin

Robert Roos
Sep 22, 2014

The tally of chikungunya cases in the Caribbean, pushed by 19,000 new cases in the Dominican Republic, has surpassed 738,000, and Florida has registered another locally acquired case of the mosquito-borne viral infection, according to public health agencies.

In an update today, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) said the count as of Sep 19 for the Caribbean and neighboring regions reached 729,178 suspected and 9,537 confirmed cases, for a total of 738,715.

That amounts to an increase of 22,185 in suspected cases and 886 confirmed cases since Sep 12, the report shows.

The Dominican Republic’s tally of suspected cases has reached 486,306, up by 19,240 from a week earlier. Confirmed cases in the country stayed the same at 84. In neighboring Haiti, the case count stayed at 64,695, about the same as it was in late July.

Other places that reported rising cases were Curacao, with 665, compared with just 37 a week earlier, and Jamaica, with 122 cases, up from 17 a week ago.

Meanwhile, Broward County, Fla., home to Fort Lauderdale, reported its first locally acquired chikungunya case on Sep 19. The case apparently marks the 10th indigenous case in the continental United States, all of them in Florida.

The Florida Department of Health in Broward County (DOH-Broward) reported the case in a Sep 19 statement. The agency gave no details about the patient but stressed advice for avoiding mosquito bites and eliminating mosquito breeding sites.

Other locally acquired cases have been reported in Florida’s Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, a Sep 19 story in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel noted.

Last week the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) put Florida’s tally of locally acquired chikungunya cases at 9, along with 195 travel-related cases. Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands also have had locally acquired cases.

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