Cases of chikungunya in Haiti soar above 1,500
Confirmed cases of chikungunya in Haiti have skyrocketed from 14 to 1,529 in recent days, the Associated Press (AP) reported today.
Ronald Singer, a spokesman for Haiti's health ministry, said about 900 cases of the mosquito-borne disease have been in West department, where Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, resides. Another 300 cases were confirmed in the country's northwest.
Just 2 days ago the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) put the number of confirmed cases in the country at 14. The illness was expected in Haiti, the story said, after the neighboring Dominican Republic started reported cases. That country now has more than 7,500 suspected cases, the ECDC reported.
The chikungunya outbreak, which is the first in the Americas, began in December on the small island of St. Martin, which now has more than 3,000 suspected and almost 1,100 confirmed or probable cases, according to ECDC data.
May 14 AP story
Pakistan to require polio vaccination for travelers leaving country
Beginning Jun 1, everyone leaving Pakistan will be required to get a polio vaccination, according to an AP brief yesterday.
The country's health ministry announced the new requirement in response to the World Health Organization's (WHO's) declaration last week that polio has become an international public health emergency as cases continue and occur in countries previously considered polio-free.
All provinces in Pakistan have been provided with guidance and materials to convene vaccination stations at hospitals and airports.
Pakistan, one of three countries in which polio is still endemic, is also one of three nations identified by the WHO as having allowed polio to spread across its borders. The other countries with endemic polio are Afghanistan and Nigeria; Syria and Cameroon are the other countries where the disease has crossed borders.
May 13 AP brief
May 5 CIDRAP News story on WHO emergency declaration