Photo: Chikungunya virus
The Dominican Health Ministry said Friday that tests taken by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control confirmed the presence of the chikungunya virus in the southern province of San Cristobal.
Blood samples from people affected by fever and intense joint pain tested positive for chikungunya, which is transmitted by mosquite bites and causes symptoms similar to dengue, Health Minister Freddy Hidalgo Nuñez said.
The Health Ministry “maintains and will intensify across national territory the measures of prevention and containment of outbreaks of this disease transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito,” he said in a communique.
No vaccines or treatments exist to prevent the chikungunya virus, Hidalgo Nuñez said.
Faced with possible infections of the virus in the country, Dominican health authorities issued an epidemic alert last January and rolled out a plan of response.
The plan is based on strategies of massive, multi-sectorial coordination of resources, communication and information, quick treatment of suspected cases, vectorial surveillance and control, and quick, integrated medical intervention.
Chikungunya virus was first detected in the Americas late last year, according to information on the CDC Web site.