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UWI reports chikungunya case on Mona campus

Wednesday, August 13, 2014    

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THE University of the West Indies, Mona was yesterday scheduled to fog the campus as well as a 500-metre radius into the surrounding community following confirmation of a chikungunya case there.

No information was given about the chikungunya case and university administrators were not immediately available for comment on the matter.

It was also not clear last night if the chikungunya case reported by the university was one of the two locally acquired ones earlier reported by the Ministry of Health.

Yesterday, in a notice to staff and students of the campus, the university asked that they:

* ensure that there are no containers (such as plant saucers or vases) where water may have collected and created a mosquito breeding site;

* protect themselves from mosquito bites by covering their bodies as much as possible and use mosquito repellents containing DEET on exposed skin; and

* seek medical help if you develop acute onset fever and severe joint pain.

Staff and students were told to be alert but not panic.

Earlier this month, the health ministry reported that there were two imported and two locally acquired cases of chikungunya in Jamaica.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), chikungunya is a viral disease (genus Alphavirus) which is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes, including Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.

Symptoms appear between four and seven days after the patient has been bitten by the infected mosquito and these include:

* high fever;

* joint pain (lower back, ankle, knees, wrists or phalanges);

* joint swelling;

* rash;

* headache;

* muscle pain;

* nausea; and

* fatigue.

Chikungunya, said the WHO, shares some clinical signs with dengue and can be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue is common.

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