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More than 70% of J'cans may have been affected by Chik-V, says Tufton

Thursday, September 06, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Minister of Health Dr Christopher Tufton today revealed that more than 70 per cent of Jamaicans may have been affected by the Chikungunya virus (Chik-V), while half of that amount were affected sufficiently to require medical attention.

The minister said the data can be further drilled down to examine issues such as economic losses in terms of productivity, downtime, cost to the public health system, and the pain and suffering of families.

Tufton made the disclosure today at a media briefing held at the Mona Visitors' Lodge and Conference Centre at the University of the West Indies where he released the preliminary key findings of the third Jamaica Health and Lifestyle Survey.

The data showed that eight out of 10 Jamaicans had a positive serum (blood) test for Chik-V, while the highest Chik-V sero-prevalence was among age groups 15-24 years (85.9 per cent) and 65-74 years (85.6 per cent).

Portland, St Thomas, Kingston and St Andrew had the highest Chik-V sero-prevalence, which was greater than 90 per cent.

In terms of the Zika virus (ZIKV), only six per cent of Jamaicans reported that they had the virus infection. The highest self-reported prevalence of ZIKV was among Jamaicans aged 45-54 years.

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