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Venezuela records second imported chikungunya case via Dominican Republic

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For the second time in a week, The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has confirmed a imported chikungunya case in a traveler returning from the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean.

According to a Panorama.com report yesterday (computer translated), the patient is a 55-year-old woman who demonstrated symptoms of high fever and joint pain, resembling chikungunya. Blood samples collected on the patient were sent to National Institute of Hygiene where the virus was confirmed.

This is the second imported case from the Dominican Republic. The first case was reported on June 5. The Dominican Republic has been in a battle with the mosquito borne virus since the outbreak was first seen on the island in early April. The current case tally for the island country is 53,000 as of the end of last week.

Director General of Environmental Health, Jesús Toro said, "Thanks to the effective and timely work of the Ministry has avoided the spread of this disease in the country."

Toro goes on to advise the public travelling to the Caribbean and the Dominican Republic in particular, to "avoid the bite of mosquitoes, protecting with loose clothing and use repellents that decreases the chances of bites, and stay in places where vector control measures are maintained. In addition, if you have symptoms resembling chikungunya or dengue, as noted above, go to the nearest health treatment facility."

Venezuela is not the only country seeing travel-associated chikungunya in people returning from the Caribbean, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting dozens of cases as of the most recent update released yesterday.

As of last Friday, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has reported 135,000 cases of the mosquito borne virus since December.

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