CARPHA to host chikungunya symposium

CARPHA has stated that chickungunya and dengue fever are growing public health threats in the Caribbean and to this end the Caribbean Public Health Agency based in Trinidad, will host a networking symposium to focus on the mosquito borne illnesses in June 2014.

CARPHA said the symposium will focus on examining a regional overview of the viruses and why the diseases have emerged and indeed appear to be increasing. In Barbados there were triple the number of dengue cases in 2014 than in 2013.

Barbados and some other islands have not confirmed a chickungunya case while other regional counterparts have confirmed several cases. WHO recently stated that there are 55 000 suspected and confirmed cases of chikungunya cases in the region to date.

The symposium will also focus on surveillance, CARPHA said.  The Agency further indicated that the symposium follows up on the lead of R&E partner network the Trans EurAsia Information Network (TEIN) Cooperation Center. Trans EurAsia Information Network (TEIN) jointly organized a dengue fever workshop at the Asia Pacific Advanced Networking (APAN) in Indonesia in January.

 “The symposium will enable clinicians, researchers and network engineers to share experiences tackling and managing dengue fever and the chikungunya virus in the Caribbean and Latin America. Importantly, practitioners will learn how the dedicated, high bandwidth research and education (R&E) networks in the region – C@ribNET and RedCLARA – can support and facilitate the collaborative work among the various health-related communities and researchers,” CARPHA revealed in a press statement.

“The primary outcome of the Caribbean Dengue Symposium is to initiate the establishment of medical/health related communities focusing on aspects of managing the dengue fever and chikungunya virus and which use the R&E networks available regionally and globally, to continue to collaborate, conduct research, share and analyze large data all towards better managing these viruses in the region. “

Chikungunya, a virus more commonly found in Africa and Asia and transmitted by the aedes aegypti mosquito that causes the more deadly dengue fever. The first case was confirmed in St. Martin in the French Caribbean. Chickungunya illness presents with fever, rash, severe headaches, severe joint pain and is not fatal.

CARPHA said the June 12 event is being held in collaboration with the Caribbean Knowledge and Learning Network, (CKLN).

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