Cuban Government confirms presence of chikungunya virus in the island

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The Ministry of Public Health of Cuba (Minsap) confirmed Wednesday for the first time the presence of chikungunya virus in the island, with six cases reported to date, mostly Cubans who have traveled to other parts of the Caribbean.

According to a note published by official media Minsap, those affected are «almost entirely Cuban citizens linked to illegal trade, who have recently traveled, and often do Haiti (5) and Dominican Republic (1).»

«All patients developing well. Unlike those, the Cuban collaborators before traveling to our country are subjected to a strict quarantine, «the note added.

The virus that causes symptoms similar to dengue is endemic in Southeast Asia, Africa and Oceania, but emerging in America, where the number of suspected cases is around 70,000.

The Minsap said today that «health personnel are properly trained and have taken the measures required for the care of cases.»

He explained to the population Chikungunya is transmitted by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito aedes albopictus, two species on the island.

In the case of Aedes aegypti, Cuba maintained for years a media campaign to involve the population in the control of outbreaks of mosquito and thus combat the spread of dengue disease, which is transmissive.

«The Health System reaffirms the need to intensify vector control being done in the country, so it is essential that every home and workplace measures to eliminate potential breeding sites of these vectors actions are guaranteed,» said the Minsap.

Cuba has also recommended permanent residents on the island voyages in the Caribbean «take measures for their protection during their stay and go in the first 72 hours of their return to the office of the Family Doctor» of their neighborhoods for a health check .

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