At least 1,529 cases of the Chikungunya virus have been confirmed across Haiti said Ronald Singer, a spokesman for the country’s Department of Health. About 900 of these cases are in the capital of Port-au-Prince and another 300 in northwestern Haiti.
This is a significant and startling increase as on May 6th there were only 14 confirmed cases and reports of 632 confirmed cases the weekend after.
Health authorities here have been bracing for the disease after neighbouring Dominican Republic confirmed at least 150 to 200 cases since March.
The virus was first detected in the Caribbean in December 2013 in St Martin and since then a number of regional countries including Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and St Vincent and the Grenadines have reported confirmed cases of the painful illness most commonly found in Asia and Africa.
There is no vaccine for chikungunya and it is spread by the pervasive Aedes aegypti mosquito, which also transmits dengue fever in the region.