Caribbean travellers warned of chikungunya virus
The prevalence of chikungunya disease in the Netherlands has increased dramatically since August 2014, particularly in citizens who have traveled to the Caribbean.
Travelers who intend on visiting the Caribbean are cautioned to take the necessary preventative action. Advisable precautionary measures include covering exposed skin with clothing, and mosquito repellent containing DEET during daytime and at night.
Chikungunya is an infectious disease, caused by a virus. The virus is carried by mosquitoes (predominantly by the aedes aegypti), and transmitted by their bite. Symptoms surface within three to seven days; sudden high fever, severe muscle and joint pain, headaches, photophobia and a rash.
During the time frame September to November 2014,181 travelers were diagnosed with chikungunya. Of these, 80 people had recently returned from the Caribbean. The disease broke out in the Caribbean last year. No certain cure has been discovered for the disease yet, but medication is available to treat some of the symptoms, which may last up to two weeks. Joint pain may last for months, or in acute cases, years. Rest and fluids is recommended for patients diagnosed with Chikungunya.