Chikungunya conference starts today

POSTED: 03/4/15 11:19 AM

St. Maarten – The Caribbean Public Health Agency, or CARPHA, will host a conference starting tomorrow in the Trinidadian capital of Port-of-Spain to discuss the region’s response to Chikungunya.

The March 3-5 gathering, financed by the European Union, will bring together experts from across the region, including St. Maarten, and from other parts of the world to talk about Chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases. “The meeting also provides a unique opportunity to renew efforts to position mosquito-borne diseases as a high priority in the public health agenda, and examine the potential for public-private partnerships, as government alone cannot solve the problem,” CARPHA Executive Director James Hospedales said in a statement.

The Chikungunya virus was first detected in the Western Hemisphere in 2013. Since then, authorities have logged more than 800,000 suspected cases in the Caribbean and Latin America. The impact on health and on the region’s economy has been considerable, especially as a significant proportion of infected people suffer long-term complications from joint pain and impairment of function. Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which also carry viruses such as dengue, yellow fever and Zika.

CARPHA operates in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bermuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Curaçao, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Martin, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos and the British Virgin Islands.

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