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The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) released its latest data on the number of cases of chikungunya in the Caribbean outbreak on June 9. Its figures are similar, though not identical, to the report of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) released June 6. The PAHO reported a total of 135,427 confirmed and suspected chikungunya cases through June 6. The ECDC has a smaller total, 115,951 confirmed or suspected cases. The reporting lag for data to the ECDC is greater than that to the PAHO, which accounts for the differences.
The actual number of chikungunya cases since Dec. 2013 in the Americas is much higher. Many patients in the Dominican Republic and Haiti are reportedly not seeking medical treatment. The public health agencies of the 26 nations and territories now reporting the infection are often strained and many have few resources to draw upon. The most current data is often found in the press and on social media.
Newly confirmed chikungunya cases, many imported, have been announced in the Turks and Caicos, Suriname, Costa Rica, Chile and Venezuela. Cuba reports two imported cases. Through June 9, the United States has announced 32 imported cases in the 48 contiguous states.
The PAHO report announced that 2 imported cases of chikungunya have been found in Cuba. The website Cuba Verdad translated a Hablemos Press report from Spanish that suggests a greater number. The Press reported that doctors at the Vladimir Ilich Lenin University General Hospital have seen several cases of chikungunya, from at least four provinces and the city of Havana.
Puerto Rico has reported just one case of chikungunya, but it was locally acquired. That means there was at least one additional case that was imported. There has been no response from the island's Health Department to requests for information. It is unclear at this time if the Commonwealth is experiencing a chikungunya outbreak or not.
Haiti and the Dominican Republic are the center of the chikungunya epidemic at this time. Numbers are scarce and rarely jibe with the PAHO or the ECDC. Haiti Libre reported 15,000 cases on June 6 in that nation. Diario Libre reported from the Dominican Republic on June 9 that the case total there was over 53,000. Both nations are also experiencing endemic dengue, malaria and other infectious illnesses that complicate the diagnosis and treatment of chikungunya.
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