Update at 25 April 2006
of course, aware of the Chikungunya outbreak in the Indian Ocean
which has peaked in February and March. Many have asked us about
the proliferation of the Chikungunya
virus in Mauritius. Don't panic, the island is
safe for locals as well as tourists.
This issue can lead some of you to question the timeliness of a
As you will be our guests, we have to be by your side, with validated
as opposed to rumour
to keep you apprised of the situation and of the eventual associated
risks, if any. Much has been said in the international press which
has been exaggerated and such over-estimation has been confirmed
by the Director of the WHO who was in Mauritius in the beginning
of this week, causing unnecessary stress, psychosis among travellers.
The epidemy in La Reunion is nothing compared to Mauritius, which
is not even considered an outbreak, nor an epidemy.
May we suggest you the following official sources which are known
to be most reliable:
- The National TV news - see
interview of Dr. Lee Jong Wook on Tuesday's national news (around
2 minutes 30 seconds after the beginning of the news - for those
who do not understand French)
- The World Health Organisation website
- no mention of outbreak or epidemy
- The Government of Mauritius, through its Ministry has released
communiqué on 07 Mar
- The official Travel Advisories of Great Britain and/or France
or in your countries
advisories are not classifying Mauritius as a no-go destination.
Precautionary measures need to be taken while on the island.
What is the current status of Chikungunya
in Mauritius at 25 April 2006
No. of Infected Chikungunya Cases
Some general information
about the virus
They all come from imported infected persons probably from Comoros
& Reunion island. Contrary to Reunion Island, there is no outbreak
not even an epidemy in Mauritius. The Government is controlling
actively the ins and outs at the airport and port so as
to limit entry of infected persons. Fumigation by fogging machines
by the Ministry of Health is being undertaken in the prone areas
so as to kill the live mosquitoes. The vigorous and sustained measures
put in place in Mauritius have, over the past few weeks, begun to
bear fruit with a leveling off in the increase of confirmed
"A nation-wide campaign to eradicate mosquitoes has been launched
on the island," the government said in a statement detailing its
efforts to halt the spread of "chikungunya." "After
the recent rains on the island, the ministries of environment, regional
administration and health have begun cleaning gutters and canals
to stop the breeding of mosquitoes that spread chikungunya," it
said. The statement did not say if or how many people had been affected
but a health ministry official, said there were two confirmed and
15 suspected cases since the beginning of the year. "We have 15
suspected cases and two confirmed," ministry spokeswoman Amita Pathak
told AFP. "We are on alert. The air and seaport are under high surveillance
by health inspectors."
It is essential to remember that Mauritius has always been at the
state-of-the-art in the fight against viral diseases transmitted
Thanks to a forceful policy of information and control, Malaria
has been completely eradicated from the island since 1960. Thus,
a strict medical control is carried out on any person arriving from
an infected country. This person is observed by a health officer
who will control, in the days following the arrival, that no symptom
has developed. Passengers, in general, and particularly those coming
from a zone where a mosquito-borne disease is prevalent, have their
address in Mauritius noted and will be visited during their stay
by a Health Officer.
Although there are no malarial mosquitoes in Mauritius, on arrival
at the airport an officer from the Ministry of Health may ask you
for a blood sample if you have travelled from a country where malaria
do we do in our hotels at Ocean Villas and at Ocean Beauty?
hotel, we are taking pro-active measures to remove any stagnant
water and minimize risk of mosquito proliferation. Regular insectide
spraying on the property is performed. It has a residual effect.
Fogging is also done in hotel premises and surroundings.
Mosquito coils are available. If you have your anti mosquito repellent
(cream or spray), feel free to use them. Our grocery shop also carries
mosquito repellent Vape tablets to be used in the repellent machines
in the guest rooms.
What is chikungunya?
"Chikungunya" is a swahili word which means "curved
up": a rather poetic description for this disease which is not
lethal, but largely incapacitating. It
is transmitted via the Aedes Aegypti mosquito (mainly during the day).
The number of confirmed cases of chikungunya
has been of only 962 as at the 23rd February 2006
Some extra Information about Chikungunya
Other preventive measures have been implemented
throughout the island, in order to limit the risks of extension of
this virus :
- the means to fight the propagation of mosquitoes have been multiplied
- an information campaign has been implemented to create awareness
among the population, of how to contribute to the prevention efforts
- declaration of any case to local authorities has been made mandatory.
This allows the authorities to monitor the evolution of the disease
geographically and to take remedial, targeted actions within a day.
The various protagonists of the Tourism
Industry have also carried out preventive measures to safeguard
the health of their customers :
All airlines systematically disinfect each
plane coming from a country affected by the virus that lands in
Mauritius. This includes both the passenger cabin and the luggage
and cargo hold.
All hotels have undertaken to set up a thorough action plan :
- Spraying of nature friendly insecticides several times a week
- Spraying of all areas likely to become breeding grounds for mosqutoes
- Creating awareness among hotel staff and employees of medical
Once again, there is neither fear nor reason to defer a trip to
Mauritius because of Chikungunya virus.