KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica may be facing its first case of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus.
The Ministry of Health announced in a release today that a suspected imported case of the chikungunya virus has been detected through its “heightened surveillance system”.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Kevin Harvey says the case is of an individual who travelled from an affected country and fell ill. Screening tests done at a private laboratory in Jamaica indicated that the individual may have the illness but a sample was taken and sent to the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) for confirmation.
The Ministry says that if this test is positive, it will confirm Jamaica’s first imported case of the chikungunya virus.
“This does not indicate local spread of the virus and we continue to monitor persons living in and around areas visited by the individual. We have heightened our vector control activities to reduce the possibility of local spread,” Dr Harvey explained.
As of July 14, 2014, twenty eight (28) countries and territories in the Caribbean and Latin American Region have reported cases of chikungunya with a total of 5,227 confirmed.