Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 17th 2014 Contents A29
Monday, February 17, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Over the past few months,
several people have report-
ed that they had contracted a
They experienced fever,
severe body and joint pains
and were incapacitated for
periods that were longer that
those normally associated with
the periodic flu viruses. Diag-
noses indicated that it is not
dengue. So what is it?
In the Trinidad and Tobago
Guardian of December 19,
2013, it was reported that the
Minister of Health, Dr Fuad
Khan, indicated that it was
not the Chikungunya virus.
This was in response to sug-
gestions that it may have been
the virus responsible for the
latest flu with its rather severe
Further he gave the assur-
ance that an alert has been
issued at the ports of entry
and the health institutions. So
what is the Chikungunya virus
and can it have an outbreak
According to the World
Health Organization, Chikun-
gunya is a viral disease, trans-
mitted to humans by mosqui-
toes, and causes fever and
severe joint pain.
Other symptoms include
headache, muscle pain fatigue,
nausea and rash. It was first
found in Tanzania in 1952 and
got its name from local
Kimakonde language and
which means to be "bent
upwards", reflective of the
reaction of the afflicted to the
intensity of the pain the fever
It has spread Africa to Asia
with a severe outbreak in India
in 2006/7 and some 1.9 mil-
lion cases reported in India,
Indonesia, Thailand and
Myanmar. Europe reported its
first case in 2007. Late last
year, there was a serious out-
break in Papua New Guinea
and the Australians have
sounded the alarm bells and
are putting in place measures
to mitigate, contain and deal
with the inevitable outbreak
The virus is spread by the
Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes
which also transmit dengue
and yellow fever.
These mosquitoes are preva-
lent in T&T and have been
responsible for outbreaks of
both yellow fever and dengue.
The Chikungunya fever has
not been publicly reported as
yet. Historically it has never
been associated with the
Caribbean as have yellow fever
and dengue and this may be a
factor in the apparent lack of
awareness of it. To date, the
virus has spread to some 40-
odd countries and is now
being viewed as a potential
threat to the Americas as it
has been found in several
countries of the Caribbean.
These include the British
Virgin Islands, St Martin,
Dominica. Recently it was also
reported in French Guiana.
These countries are both to
the north and south of T&T.
Within the past few days,
the Centers for Disease Con-
trol and Prevention of the
USA, the European Center for
Disease Control and Preven-
tion and the Canadian
Authorities have advised trav-
ellers to the Caribbean, from
their respective countries, to
take the necessary preventive
The spread of virus is facili-
tated by people travelling from
a country that harbours the
virus to those whose popula-
tions are uninfected.
This may explain why epi-
demics become pandemics so
quickly. Very shortly as we
approach the climax of the
Carnival season, there is going
to be a large influx, over a rel-
ative short time period, of
people from many parts of the
world to our shores.
Under such conditions, any
measures put in place would
be subjected to extra-ordinary
Since "the greatest show on
earth" cannot be tampered
with, the inevitable appearance
of the virus would more than
likely be hastened.
Effort must thus be focussed
on reducing its impact. This is
certainly very possible.
brink of collapse?
Are we witnessing Venezuela's
demise? I would like some of our
local socialists like David Abdulah
and union leaders and people like
Burton Sankerali to enlighten me on
what is going on next door in
Venezuela, our close neighbour.
After many years of Chavez' dic-
tatorial, disastrous rule and almost a
year under his hand-picked succes-
sor President Maduro, it seems like
Venezuela is in a very bad state,
probably on the verge of collapse.
When it reaches the point that
even vital supplies like toilet paper,
corn flour, milk and other basic con-
sumer items are scarce then it is
clear that the socialist agenda has
failed miserably in the Bolivarian Re-
But I want Chavez' comrades here
to verify or deny this.
I have been hearing that inflation
is more than 50 per cent and many
thousands of university graduates
who cannot get employment are
seeking greener pastures abroad,
mainly in North America.
Crime is like a hoard of drunk, rag-
ing bulls with over 20,000 murders
last year alone, and a murder every
There is also a black market to
buy US dollars!
This is just the tip of the iceberg
but with all this we hear nothing
from Abdulah and Roget and the
rest who glorified and idolised Hugo
Chavez and his brand of socialism. I
challenge them to deny what I said
Which party financier
are you voting for?
Governance under female leader-
ship is marketed as better than gov-
ernance under male leadership.
However, what reality shows is that
gender gives no improvement in
Reality also shows plainly that
race doesn't add any benefits to
leadership quality. A further reality
shows that politicians are but the
stooges of political party financiers.
2015 voters ought to ask them-
selves which party financiers, or
combination thereof, do they wish
to run the country from behind the
scenes during the period 2015 to vi-
A party financiers, or all of the
bless our nation
This has to be the best---I decided
to go and break my diet after watch-
ing Guyana and Barbados at the
Oval, and have some chicken and
chips after about five years.
So I headed to St James and went
to the first big franchise where
about six people were waiting, and
no one was attending to them.
Maybe the workers were on a
lunch break at 10.30 pm, after all
this is a paradise eh?
Not having the patience of the
other patrons I decided to go to the
other chicken franchise where on
entering I was greeted with "ten
minutes". I asked "excuse me?"
"Ten minutes for chicken" was the
reply. Noticing that there was some
chicken in the warmers I asked "you
not selling that?"
"Daz wings" was the reply." "How
much," I asked. "$35 dallahs," was
the reply, at which time I turned and
walked away repeating to myself
the last line of our National Anthem.
It's Your Write
SCIENCE AND SOCIETY
THE CHIKUNGUNYA VIRUS
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