Two confirmed cases of Chikungunya on Caribbean island of Saint Martin

As of 10 December 2013, a total of two confirmed, four probable and twenty suspected cases of chikungunya infection have been reported on Saint Martin/ Sint Maarten.

On 6 December 2013, WHO was notified of two laboratory confirmed cases of locally acquired chikungunya fever in the French part of the Caribbean island of Saint Martin. The other area of the island is a country that is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Sint Maarten). These two cases were confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test performed by the French National Reference Centre for arboviruses in Marseille.

About Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya is a viral disease that is rarely fatal and is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. Symptoms of chikungunya include high fever and headache, with significant pains in the joints (ankles, wrists), which can persist for several weeks. The symptoms appear between 4 and 7 days after the patient has been bitten by an infected mosquito. The name, chickungunya derives from a word in Makonde language roughly meaning “that which bends up”, reflecting the physique of a person suffering from the disease.