Categorized | National News

Chikungunya Patients Advised to Avoid Aspirin

Bahamians who fear they have been infected with the Chikungunya virus are being advised to not take aspirin in a bid to cure themselves as the popular drug will only make matters worse.

According to the Ministry of Health’s International Regulation Focal Point Officer Janelle Pickering who was the guest speaker at the Rotary Club of West Nassau’s weekly meeting, said taking aspirin while infected will not help but actually cause serious blood deficiencies.

“We have no vaccine available and there is no magic pill,” she told Rotarian of the West Nassau Club yesterday.

“It’s a self-limiting virus meaning that the body will take care of it itself. It lasts about seven to 10 days so we only suggest supportive care. We tell people to rest and take lots of fluids. If you’re having pain, do not take aspirin. I know we are a society that likes to take aspirin but aspirin and ibuprofen thins the blood. The chance of bleeding with dengue or Chikungunya is great so we don’t want to thin the blood and get the disease which causes bleeding anyway and then you can have major complications.”

Mrs. Pickering, who is a registered nurse of 12 years, advised the rotarians that they should take Panadol, Tylenol or Calpol instead.

“If you get to the position where you need to be admitted to hospital the physicians will give you something a little stronger but other than that if you want to treat yourself at home then take Panadol, Tylenol or Calpol,” she said.

To date, there are 21 confirmed cases of the Chikungunya virus in The Bahamas, according to the nurse.

Of those 21 cases, two are recorded in Grand Bahama while the remainder are in New Providence.

Mrs. Pickering also confirmed that two of the cases are children while adults make up the remainder.

She also explained that the majority of patients reside in eastern Englerston and in southern New Providence.

“We have cases dispersed across New Providence but we have it in those areas because that’s where the majority of the population is,” Mrs. Pickering said.

“With any disease, and we saw it with dengue as well, those highly populated areas you are going to see cases there because that’s just the way epidemiology works and the mosquito is smart. If she can be in one area and bite three million people she is not going to go where she will have to look and look.”

Mrs. Pickering also spoke to the Rotarians about preventing the virus.

“Source reduction is the biggest thing when it comes to this virus so we need to be able to stop the development of the eggs,” she said.

“We can fog but fogging only kills the adult mosquito. If we reduce the source then we kill her eggs and we won’t have any more mosquitos coming up. If we fog, we are killing the adult mosquito but she can lay up to 1,000 eggs at a time. The mosquito has a life span of one month so imagine how many eggs she can lay in that one month period.”

Like Dengue Fever, the Chikungunya virus is spread through a mosquito bite from the aedes aegypti.

The virus causes fever, joint pain, headaches and a rash.

The Bahamas confirmed its first case on July 4.

In the Caribbean there have been over 4,300 confirmed cases of the virus and over 250,000 suspected cases, according to statistics released by the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO).

Written by Jones Bahamas

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Watch JCN Channel 14 Shows

Jcn Channel 14

Sign in now to see your channels and recommendations!

Join Us on Facebook