Guyana has first cases of virus new to region

chikungunya virus photo - togaviridae

Guyana has reported its first cases of a mosquito-borne virus that has been rapidly spreading in the Caribbean.
Health Minister Bheri Ramsarran says the two confirmed cases of chikungunya involved a 4-year-old child and a 40-year-old man. Both cases occurred in the eastern part of the country along the border with Suriname.

Guyana is the second place on mainland South America to report a locally transmitted case. French Guiana was the first and has had more than 170 cases.

The Pan American Health Organization says there have been more than 60,000 suspected cases throughout the Caribbean since the first locally transmitted case was documented in December. The illness causes high fevers and joint pain but is rarely fatal. There is no vaccine and the main treatment is pain medication.

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