The mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus, already rampant in Jamaica, has spread to the Cayman Islands and other parts of the Caribbean.
The Caribbean Public Health Agency’s latest report, dated October 20, states that there were 59 confirmed cases of chikungunya in Jamaica, but medical professionals are saying that the prevalence of the virus is hugely under-reported.
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes. Whilst it is rarely fatal for adults, the infection can cause death in infants, people with weakened immune systems, and vulnerable older people. The virus causes fever and severe joint pain and other symptoms can include: muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
Giving up alcohol for a month can change people’s drinking habits in the long term meaning people drink less and get drunk less often, according to a study.
Research shows that committing to a month off alcohol – post Christmas – was more likely to lead to people moderating their drinking during the rest of the year and to saying no to a drink on social occasions or when feeling upset or anxious.
A survey of 3,800 people who completed a questionnaire before they gave up alcohol in January 2014, found that many of those going 31 days without alcohol experienced a number of positive side-effects, such as sleeping better, losing weight and feeling more energetic. More than three-quarters of people said they had saved money and felt a sense of achievement.
Commenting on the research, Prof Wallace, chief medical adviser to the charity Drinkaware, warned that people should not be complacent.
“It’s important not to assume that having a break from alcohol for a while means it’s OK to drink to excess the rest of the year. It’s also important to recognise that just because you can stop drinking alcohol for a period of time, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to continue to moderate your drinking in the long term.”