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Dominican Republic tests for chikungunya

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Chikungunya, the mosquito borne illness sweeping the eastern Caribbean, may have reached the Dominican Republic. In a March 27 story, Dominican Today quotes the nation's Health Minister, Freddy Hidalgo, as stating the there may be chikungunya cases in two regions of the island nation. "The epidemiological investigations’ preliminary results show a clinical pattern similar to infection by the chikungunya virus, but this Ministry awaits the laboratory results for confirmation."

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) data for the week ending March 28 has been released and it continues to show an increase in suspected, probable and confirmed chikungunya cases in the eastern Caribbean. There were 342 new confirmed and probable cases in the last week, and 2,238 new suspected cases. In total, 3,211 confirmed and probable chikungunya cases and 15,282 suspected cases have been reported. That is a combined total of 18,493 and represents a 16 percent increase from last week.

The French-speaking island of Guadeloupe is showing the greatest increase in numbers since last week. Since the outbreak began in early Dec. 2013, the island has reported 735 confirmed cases, up 148 from last week. It also is reporting 310 new suspected cases, for an outbreak total of 2,270.

The Dutch have updated the number of confirmed chikungunya cases on their half of the island of St. Martin. In the first change since Feb. 21, the Dutch report 224 confirmed cases which is an increase of 109 from last week.

English-specking Dominica reported 16 new confirmed cases, for a total of 72. There are 487 suspected chikungunya cases, an increase of 93 since last week.

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