Contributed by Damien
Gruson, IFCC News Working Group
The French island "�le de la R�union", close to Madagascar and
Africa, is one of the most attractive French island for tourism.
The R�union Island is characterized by a large diversity of
landscapes and the happiness of the R�union citizen. From this
point of view, R�union Island is a "dreamland".
However, the screenplay running in this island for over a year
is a real nightmare for the island citizen, economy and for the
local health system. A virus, transmitted by mosquitoes, infects
people and causes a disease called "Chikungunya". This disease is
characterized by intense weakness, important fever and motor
troubles. Elderly people and children are the most sensitive
populations to the virus. Chikungunya was first described in Uganda
in 1953 and an important epidemic episode was first reported in
Vellore (India) in 1964. Since 1990, the frequency of Chikungunya
epidemic episodes is increasing in the world.
Actually, the rate of new cases per week is about 3,000 and
241,000 (30% of the overall island population) have been infected
since February 2005. Since the beginning of 2006, 189 deaths have
been directly linked to Chikungunya. Economically, 500,000 euros
have been injected into local economy to help the island but by
March 2006 the flight rotations between France and the island had
decreased by 30%. Two thousand six hundred (2,600) civilians and
military have been mobilized for the fight against mosquitoes.
My brother's wife is from the R�union Island, so this article is
an opportunity to underline the courage of the citizens of the
beautiful R�union Island.