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Expat Exchange - Chikungunya Disease in Martinique
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Chikungunya Disease in Martinique

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Mondly by Pearson
Mondly by Pearson

Summary: If you're a moving to Martinique or recently arrived, it's important to know about Chikungunya Disease, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. Chikungunya is sometimes misdiagnosed as Zika Virus. Unfortunately, many report long-term joint pain following the initial illness.

If you've recently moved to Martinique or are planning to, it's essential to be aware of Chikungunya Disease, spread by mosquitoes. This illness is frequently confused with the Zika Virus, and many suffer from persistent joint pain after recovering from the initial symptoms.

Chikungunya virus is a mosquito-borne disease that has been a significant health concern in many parts of the world, including the Caribbean island of Martinique. This article will delve into the specifics of the Chikungunya virus, its prevalence in Martinique, and the measures that can be taken to prevent and manage the disease, particularly for expatriates living on the island.

What is Chikungunya Disease?

Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It is characterized by an abrupt onset of fever frequently accompanied by joint pain. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, and rash. The joint pain is often very debilitating and can last for weeks or months, and in some cases, years. Most patients recover fully, but in some cases, the joint pain may persist for several months, or even years. Occasional cases of eye, neurological and heart complications have been reported, as well as gastrointestinal complaints. Serious complications are not common, but in older people, the disease can contribute to the cause of death.

Where is Chikungunya Most Prevalent in Martinique?

Chikungunya virus was first identified in Martinique in December 2013. Since then, the virus has spread rapidly across the island, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. The disease is most prevalent in urban and semi-urban areas where the Aedes aegypti mosquito, the primary vector of the virus, is commonly found. This mosquito is a daytime feeder, with peak biting periods in the early morning and late afternoon before dusk.

How do Expats in Martinique Prevent Mosquito Bites?

Preventing mosquito bites is the most effective way of avoiding Chikungunya infection. Expatriates in Martinique are advised to use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and ensure windows and doors are screened or covered with mosquito nets. It is also important to eliminate mosquito breeding sites, such as containers with standing water, as these are ideal places for mosquitoes to lay their eggs. Public health authorities in Martinique also carry out vector control activities, including fogging to kill adult mosquitoes and larviciding to kill mosquito larvae.

What if I get Chikungunya Virus in Martinique?

If you get infected with the Chikungunya virus in Martinique, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. There is no specific antiviral drug treatment for Chikungunya. Treatment is directed primarily at relieving the symptoms, including the joint pain using anti-pyretics, optimal analgesics and fluids. It is also crucial to avoid mosquito bites during the first week of illness to prevent further spread of the virus.

Is Chikungunya Virus Contagious?

Chikungunya virus is not directly contagious from person to person. The virus is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. However, a mosquito can pick up the virus when it bites an infected person during the first week of infection, and then spread the virus to other people.

Is Chikungunya Virus More Dangerous for Children, Elderly or Immune-Compromised?

While Chikungunya virus can infect people of all ages, certain groups are more at risk of severe disease. These include newborns exposed during delivery, older adults (?65 years), and people with medical conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, or heart disease. Therefore, these groups need to take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites and should seek medical attention immediately if they develop symptoms of Chikungunya.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


Mondly by Pearson
Mondly by Pearson

Mondly by Pearson
Mondly by Pearson

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