CDC clears Dominica of Hanta Virus

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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ROSEAU, Dominica (CMC) — The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States says there is no positive case of the unusual Hanta Virus spread by rodents in hurricane-battered Dominica, Chief medical officer, Dr David Johnson has said.

Late last month, health authorities said they were awaiting confirmation of a preliminary test to determine whether the island had registered its first case of Hanta Virus even as an epidemiological investigation had not found similar cases on the island.

Johnson said there had been no cases of the virus in the Caribbean in the recent past and “the studies we have seen and working with our other creditable buddies including the Pan American Health Organization, we were able to confirm that there is no case circulating in the region certainly between 1998 and 2016 and 2017”.

The disease does not spread from person to person. The mode of transmission of the virus is similar to leptospirosis. Rodent infestation in and around the home remains the primary risk for the virus exposure.

But Dr Johnson, speaking on the state-owned DBS radio, said that “the way it is transmitted [is] through a special type of mice not found in the region.

“That is why when we got preliminary results with regards to Hanta Virus we had to seek confirmation from a reputable source …the Centres for Disease Control in Atlanta and no one can doubt the reputation of CDC.

“So I am happy to report that we got back results from CDC indicating that that case was negative for Hanta Virus disease. So we can say with absolute certainty now that there was no case, let me repeat no case of Hanta Virus circulating in Dominica,” Johnson said.

Early symptoms of the virus include fatigue, fever and muscle aches, especially in the large muscle groups—thighs, hips, back, and sometimes shoulders. These symptoms are universal. There may also be headaches, dizziness, chills, and abdominal problems, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain.

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