Dominican health officials are faced with what is described as a major battle in the fight against Chikungunya because of the reluctance of Dominicans to accept that the disease is transmitted by mosquitoes.
Dr. Candia Jacob, the district medical officer has said that “one of the major barriers is that people are reluctant to believe that the mosquito is involved. If they are not convinced, they are not going to do much.” She said that the matter has gotten so bad that environmental health officers have resorted to threatening people with the law if they don’t get rid of containers that breed mosquitoes.
“We have the environmental health officers actually having to go to homes and overturn the drums and threaten people that they are going to put them in jail”, Jacob said.
Dominica has registered over 2,000 confirmed cases of Chikungunya, a viral disease tramsitted mainly by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. It brings with it symptoms similar to those of dengue. These include a sudden high fever, severe pain in the wrists, ankles or knuckles, muscle pain, headache, nausea, and rash. Joint pain and stiffness are more common with Chikungunya than with dengue.