Travel Clinic London – Travel Alert, Caribbean 5 April 2014

Chikungunya Virus Outbreak

There are reports of a Chikungunya Virus outbreak in a number of countries in the Caribbean. Over 2000 cases of the illness have so far been reported in the following countries:

  • Dominica
  • the British Virgin Islands
  • Dutch and French St Martin
  • Saint Barthelemy
  • French Guyana.

What is the Chikungunya Virus?

Chikungunya Virus is spread by mosquitos and can cause severe flu-like symptoms including fever, headache, nausea and joint and muscle pains as well as swelling in the legs in many patients. There is currently no vaccination or preventative medication against the disease and treatment is supportive only. Most people that contract the illness recover fully within about a week, however recovery does tend to gradually take longer depending upon age.

Mosquito Avoidance

Travellers are advised to avoid being bitten by mosquitos by using DEET 50% insect repellant, wearing long sleeves and trousers to avoid exposed skin, sleeping under a mosquito net and burning mosquito coils.

Further Travel Health Advice

If you are travelling to the Caribbean and need further advice, please get in touch with one of our Travel Clinics in London.