Haiti offers treatment as virus outbreak surges

May 23, 2014

Haitian health authorities will distribute pain medication to clinics around the country amid a surge in suspected cases of a mosquito-borne virus that is new to the region, a government official said Friday.

More than 5,500 suspected cases of the have been reported in Haiti, up from 1,500 cases a week earlier, Public Health Minister Florence Guillaume said.

The outbreak has been spreading around the Caribbean since the first known locally transmitted case was reported in French St. Martin in December. There have been more than 55,000 suspected and confirmed cases in the region.

There is no vaccine for chikungunya and the primary treatment is for the and arthritis-like ache in the joints that are symptoms of the illness.

Guillaume said in an interview on Radio Caribe that the government has 400,000 doses of acetaminophen to distribute and that any people who believe they have the virus can be treated at no cost. She urged anyone who has had a fever lasting more than 72 hours to seek medical attention.

The illness is rarely fatal though there have been deaths associated with chikungunya among people who are elderly or who have an underlying medical condition.

Explore further: Mosquito-borne virus spreads rapidly in Haiti (Update)

Related Stories

Mosquito-borne virus spreads rapidly in Haiti (Update)

May 13, 2014
A mosquito-borne virus that was detected for the first time in Haiti last week has quickly spread throughout the Caribbean nation, a health official said Tuesday.

Newly arrived virus spreads in Dominican Republic

April 29, 2014
Health officials in the Dominican Republic say a mosquito-borne virus has spread widely since making its first appearance in the country.

Painful and rapid spread of new virus in Caribbean

May 22, 2014
They suffer searing headaches, a burning fever and so much pain in their joints they can barely walk or use their hands. It's like having a terrible flu combined with an abrupt case of arthritis.

Scientists: Mosquito virus spreads to Americas

December 17, 2013
A nasty virus first detected in Africa that is spread to people by the bite of infected mosquitoes is being locally transmitted in the Americas for the first time on the tiny French Caribbean dependency of St. Martin, health ...

WHO sees first chikungunya cases in western hemisphere

December 10, 2013
Cases of chikungunya have occurred on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, marking the first time the mosquito-borne disease has spread in the western hemisphere, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday.

CDC issues travel health advisory for St. Martin

December 18, 2013
U.S. health authorities have issued a travel advisory for the French Caribbean dependency of St. Martin because of a mosquito-borne viral disease that is apparently being spread locally at the start of the winter tourist ...

Recommended for you

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

Study reveals how MRSA infection compromises lymphatic function

January 17, 2018
Infections of the skin or other soft tissues with the hard-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria appear to permanently compromise the lymphatic system, which is crucial to immune system function. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.