Two new suspected cases of chikungunya

A week after Cayman confirmed its first case of chikungunya, public health officials advised that two more suspected cases of the mosquito-borne virus have emerged.

Officials said in a statement Tuesday that blood work from the two cases had been sent for testing for chikungunya or dengue fever to a Caribbean Public Health Agency laboratory in Trinidad.

The debilitating virus has spread rapidly through the Caribbean since the first regional case was reported in December 2013. According to the release, “Officials say the symptoms presented are not classical of either illness but that the tests were done as a routine.”

The first case of chikungunya in Cayman was confirmed on June 30. Officials said the case was imported by a resident who returned to Cayman last month from a trip to a country where chikungunya was present.

Both dengue and chikungunya are transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Symptoms of chikungunya include fever, joint pains, muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash, while dengue symptoms are fever, headache, muscle aches, joint pains, pain behind the eyes, and rash.

The Cayman Public Health Department urges people traveling to countries with dengue and chikungunya virus, persons should use insect repellent containing DEET, wear long sleeves and pants, and stay in places with air conditioning, or that have window and door screens.

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