Health Ministry to develop management guidelines from CHIKV research

Health Ministry to develop management guidelines from CHIKV research

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Ministry of Health today announced that it has undertaken research on the chikungunya virus, to characterise the chikungunya fever outbreak in Jamaica.



Acting Chief Medical Officer, Dr Marion Bullock DuCasse said the research is being done in collaboration with health researchers nationally and regionally, according to a release from the ministry. One of the key deliverables of this group is to develop guidelines for the management of chikungunya fever specific to Jamaica.



"The ministry will also use the opportunity to get a better sense of the extent of the outbreak and the effect on the population as it is believed that several cases were not reported to the ministry’s Surveillance Unit and so could not be included in official figures" the release said.



Meanwhile, Dr DuCasse said people with underlying medical conditions who have chikungunya infection are at increased risk of severe symptoms and complications, including death.



"Persons with underlying medical conditions, especially those with non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, arthritis, and sickle cell, tend to be more impacted by chikungunya infection and so need to be medically managed and monitored carefully.


The Ministry therefore recommends that if experiencing symptoms, these persons should seek medical attention immediately," Dr DuCasse urged.


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