Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Ronald Georges, while speaking on the matter said because the virus is transmitted from person to person by mosquitoes, it is vital that upon experiencing symptoms of the infection, persons take all necessary precautions to avoid being bitten again. These precautions are extremely important in curbing the spread of Chikungunya.– As the Virgin Islands continues its preventative measures to curb the spread of the Chikungunya Virus, the Ministry of Health and Social Development is advising all persons, especially those infected with the virus, to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
“During the first week of Chikungunya infection, the symptoms of fever, pain and a general feeling of illness may occur. This is the time when the virus is reproduced in our bodies and can be transmitted,” Dr. Georges explained.
“It is imperative at this time that infected persons drink lots of water, and stay away from public areas. It is equally important to protect themselves and their families from mosquito bites by spraying indoor insecticides, keeping screens and doors closed, sleeping under mosquito nets, wearing long sleeve tops and long pants, and using mosquito repellants.” Dr. Georges said.
He emphasised that infected persons must heed this advice in order to protect the wider population from the high risk of contracting the virus through the rapidly recurring cycle of host to mosquito, and mosquito to host.
“We encourage the community to stay abreast of environmental health news as it relates to Chikungunya.
Dr. Georges stated, “Be proactive in protecting yourself, your family and the community as we work collectively to stop the spread of Chikungunya and reduce the mosquito population.”
The Ministry of Health and Social Development is committed to providing leadership that promotes health, social well being and a safe environment.