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Chikungunya US travel notice removed

The Department of Health has confirmed that there has been no local transmission of the disease chikungunya in Bermuda, despite the Centres for Disease Control in the United States claiming otherwise.

The CDC had distributed a notice claiming that Bermuda reported a local transmission of the disease last month by way of infected mosquitoes. That notice has now been removed.

The CDC also recommended that travellers to the Island protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.

But the Department of Health, while acknowledging that there had been imported cases of the disease last year, has taken steps to correct the claim that it had spread.

“The statement is erroneous and the Bermuda Department of Health has today been in contact with the CDC to request that the information be removed,” a health department spokeswoman said. “The source of the information used by the CDC has been identified and is also being corrected.”

She continued: “In 2014, three imported cases of chikungunya were confirmed in Bermuda, with all three individuals having travelled to chikungunya-affected countries in the Caribbean.”

Investigations by the Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit and proactive measures by Vector Control were implemented to prevent further spread and it was determined that there was no local transmission.

The most recent confirmed case of chikungunya in Bermuda was in mid-November.