The aetiological (infectious) agent for Chik V is an RNA virus that belongs to the Alphavirus genus in the Togaviridae family. While the two major vectors for Chik V are Ae aegypti and Ae albopictus, it is Ae aegypti which is most likely to be the vector in our region, since it is virtuall present everywhere in the Caribbean region. The main symptoms of the disease are fever, headache, muscle/back/joint pain, rash and nausea.
The Extrinisic cycle involves the mosquito taking an infectious blood meal and acquiring the virus. Following the average extrinsic incubation period of about ten days, the mosquito is then able to transmit the virus to a naïve (susceptible) human host when she takes a new blood meal. In humans, bitten by the infected mosquito, disease symptoms occur after an average Intrinsic incubation period of three to seven days (range 1-12 days).
Ref: A Toolkit on Integrated Mosquito Vector Management for the Caribbean (CARPHA) 2017
Chikungunya in the Caribbean was first reported in the island of Saint Martin (comprising the French territory of Saint Martin and the Dutch territory of Sint Maarten) in October 2013, and probably originated in a traveller returning from an affected area overseas (Olowokure et al., 2014). By January 9, 2014, 757 cases on that island were either suspected, confirmed, probable, waiting for results or hospitalised (of which 161 were confirmed at that time). By January 2014, cases had also been confirmed in other French territories: Guadeloupe, Martinique, French Guiana and St. Barthelemy (CARPHA, 2014c). This was the beginning of severe epidemics of VBD that affected the region in the 2014-16 period. CARPHA and PAHO carried out a joint mission to Sint Maarten (a CARPHA Member State), January 7-9, 2014. The mission focussed on capacities for surveillance, awareness raising and skills of healthcare providers and strengthening integrated vector management. A further mission by CARPHA was conducted to Dominica shortly thereafter on the request of the Dominican government. Engagement with agencies concerned with vector control in CMS was then scaled up to address the chikungunya epidemic.