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No Viral Outbreak

British press publishing unverified story about Seychelles

eTN Staff Writer  May 16, 2011

(eTN) - The British press unleashed a story today that the chikungunya virus has hit the Seychelles, writing "Seychelles the honeymoon island hit by chikungunya virus."

ETN has been able to independently confirm with the Seychelles Health Department that there is no such viral outbreak.

Chikungunya virus is transmitted by mosquitos, and currently the Seychelles is experiencing a dry spell, where there are severe water restrictions. They have not had substantial rainfall since January. According to an expert, when you don’t have rain, mosquitoes don’t breed. With the lifespan of a mosquito being 2 weeks, the likelihood of a breakout of a mosquito-transmitted virus in Seychelles right now is, therefore, highly unlikely.

The Seychelles Chief Press Secretary from the Office of the President had this to say to the British press: "Whoever has given you this information has done so out of maliciousness or has simply fabricated a story for profit."

The Chief Press Secretary requested that information be verified, and if not found to be true, to have the story retracted. Perhaps this explains why the story appeared on the Internet and has now disappeared.

British press publishing unverified story about Seychelles

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