Chikungunya in Caribbean

This item appears on page 17 of the February 2014 issue.

The CDC has issued a warning to avoid any nonessential travel to the islands of St. Martin and Martinique, due to an outbreak of chikungunya fever. Although it is common in many parts of Asia and Africa, this is the first outbreak in the Caribbean. (There have been prior isolated cases of “imported” fever.) 

Caused by a virus spread by mosquito bites, the illness causes fever, joint pain, headache and muscle pain. There is no vaccine, and the only protection is preventing mosquito bites with repellent, protective clothing, screened rooms and bed nets at night. Visit