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Haiti - Health : New serious disease detected in Haiti
16/09/2016 09:37:22

Haiti - Health : New serious disease detected in Haiti
University of Florida (UF) researchers have identified a patient in Haiti with a serious mosquito-borne illness that has never before been reported in Haiti. Known as "Mayaro virus", it is closely related to chikungunya virus and was first isolated in Trinidad in 1954. Most reported cases, however, have been confined to small outbreaks in the Amazon. Whether this case signals the start of a new outbreak in the Caribbean region is currently unknown.

"While current attention has been focused on the Zika virus, the finding of yet another mosquito-borne virus which may be starting to circulate in the Caribbean is of concern," declared Glenn Morris, M.D., M.P.H., director of the UF Emerging Pathogens Institute. "[...] hopefully we will not see the same massive epidemics that we saw with chikungunya, dengue and now Zika. However, these findings underscore the fact that there are additional viruses 'waiting in the wings' that may pose threats in the future, and for which we need to be watching."

"The virus we detected is genetically different from the ones that have been described recently in Brazil, and we don't know yet if it is unique to Haiti or if it is a recombinant strain from different types of Mayaro viruses," declared John Lednicky, Ph.D., an associate professor in the environmental and global health department at the UF College of Public Health and Health Professions and the study's lead author whose finding were published online Aug. 26 in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.

The symptoms of Mayaro fever are similar to those of chikungunya fever: fever, joint pain, muscle pain and rashes. Abdominal pain is also a feature of Mayaro fever, however, and joint pain can last longer.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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