By Benjamin Flowers
Chikungunya cases in the Caribbean have exceeded 500,000, says a new report from the Pan American Health Organization.
The new total of reported cases released this week is 513,393.
The report said that the disease is most prevalent in the Dominican Republic, which accounted for 26,012 of the new cases and more than half of all cases, with an overall total of 307,933, according to PAHO.
There have also been six more recorded deaths, all in Martinique, bringing the total number of CHIKV related deaths to 32.
While the epidemic has spread widely throughout the Caribbean and has been found in several Central American countries including Mexico and Guatemala, the Ministry of Health has reported no suspected cases in Belize.
In June, the number of cases was recorded at over 135,000. By July the number had gone up over 190,000.
Several cases have also been reported within the United States, where it was determined that all victims had travelled to the Caribbean within seven days prior to their diagnosis.
In July the Vector Control Unit in the Ministry of Health received 11 vehicles, Toyota Hilux 4×4 pickup trucks, to assist with vector control efforts.
The vehicles would increase the unit’s capacity to do preventative spraying in urban and rural areas. The European Union donated the trucks as part of a contribution agreement with the Government of Belize.
The trucks are valued at $720,000, with an additional allocation of $2,280,345 allocated for training ministry personnel to manage and maintain the vehicles.