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The Ministry of Health is seeking to allay public fears about the spread of the Chikungunya Virus which has been affecting parts of the region.

The virus is spread by the aides egypti mosquito with symptoms similar to Dengue Fever.

Epidemiologist in the Ministry of Health Nahum Jn Baptiste notes that symptoms include a sudden high fever, severe pain in the muscles, nausea, headache and rash. He adds that joint pain and stiffness are more common with the chukungunya virus than with dengue fever. However, unlike dengue fever, even in severe cases of chikungunya, the chances of hospitalization are very rare.

Mr Jn Baptiste admits that the severe weather system that dumped heavy rains here on Christmas Eve has posed some setbacks in the Dengue campaign that the Ministry of Health had been working on late last year. But, once a level of public awareness can be maintained about the aides egypti mosquito, the chances of contracting the chikungunya disease is less likely.

Mr Jn Baptiste notes that so far there have been no known or reported cases of chikungunya virus in St Lucia 
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