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Virus leads to high school absenteeism in Jamaica

October 7, 2014

KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Jamaica’s government says suspected cases of a mosquito-borne virus have led to roughly 30 percent absenteeism in island schools.

A government survey has found that schools in the capital of Kingston and surrounding areas are the most impacted.

Chikungunya is a rarely fatal but typically painful viral illness that has advanced rapidly through the Caribbean and parts of Latin America after local transmission started in tiny St. Martin late last year. People develop immunity after getting infected.

In recent weeks, the virus with no cure or vaccine has been increasingly sickening people and cutting productivity in Jamaica. Schools, courts and other institutions are being disrupted.    

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