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Guyana warns of increase in chikungunya cases

September 13, 2014

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (AP) — Officials in the South American country of Guyana say they are stepping up efforts to fight the spread of the chikungunya virus amid an increase in cases.

Chief Medical Officer Shamdeo Persaud said Saturday that the health ministry is spraying the capital of Georgetown and other populated areas as he urged people to destroy mosquito-breeding grounds.

Guyana has registered more than 1,000 cases, with several clinics reporting about 60 new cases a day.

Across the Caribbean, the Pan American Health Organization has recorded nearly 700,000 suspected and confirmed cases as of Sept. 12. The bulk of those cases have been reported in the Dominican Republic.

The mosquito-borne virus causes fever and severe joint pain, but is rarely fatal. There is no vaccine, and it mainly is treated with pain medication.

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