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Ministry of Public Health reports one confirmed case of Chikungunya; Residents urgently advised to be proactive in eliminating mosquito breeding sites.

cdeweever19082012GREAT BAY (DCOMM):--- Collective Prevention Services (CPS), an agency of the Ministry of Public Health, Social Development and Labour confirms that the country has one confirmed case of Chikungunya, a 38-year old male residing in the district of Saunders. The case was confirmed on December 19, 2013 by the Center National de Reference des Arbovirus, Marsellie.

Residents are therefore urged to take extra efforts to eliminate mosquito breeding sites in and around their homes and businesses on a daily basis and to stop mosquitoes from feeding.

Chikungunya (CHIK) fever is an emerging, mosquito-borne disease caused by an alphavirus, Chikungunya virus (CHIKV). This disease is transmitted predominantly by Aedes aeqypti and Ae. Albopictus mosquitoes, the same species involved in the transmission of dengue.

Country Sint Maarten's Ministry of Public Health has been actively appealing to the public to reduce breeding sites and clean-up around their properties. Numerous press releases with the Minister of Public Health's 'Get Checked' campaign, and adverts in the Government Information Page (GIP) have been published along with public service announcements in the broadcast media over a period of months in relation to dengue fever/mosquito prevention measures.

Ministry of Public Health Vector Control Team have been visiting homes and other properties on a monthly basis appealing to residents to clean-up and also providing information about the two vector borne diseases.

You can call CPS if you desire more information on how to eliminate your mosquito breeding sites at 542-2078 or 542-3003.

Other interventions that have taken place are: fogging; training of vector control staff; placing physicians on alert and increasing public health surveillance for chikungunya; national, regional and international public health organizations appraised as part of reporting protocols; yard to yard inspections planned for Belvedere and Oyster Pond area; and alerting ports of entry and providing information flyers to visitors.

As Minister of Public Health Hon. Cornelius de Weever has said before, "One can only combat these vector borne diseases by everyone doing their share individually and collectively."

Health authorities from both sides of the island are currently working closely together to deal with the challenges of dengue and chikungunya.

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