Chikungunya fever alert in Panama

Health authorities in Panama have issued a chikungunya fever alert after detecting 2 possible cases of this disease in travellers to Panama. One traveller, a Brazilian, arrived from Haiti, and reportedly spent less than 24 hours in Panama before returning to Brazil. The other returned to the neighbourhood Juan Díaz, in the eastern part of the capital city, after visiting the Dominican Republic. It is not stated if these cases were confirmed by laboratory testing.

If truly infected, these two cases may result in the spread of chikungunya virus to Panama from the heavily affected countries in the Caribbean region. Chikungunya virus infections may have long lasting health consequences. Travellers to areas where chikungunya fever virus is active can reduce their risk of exposure to this virus by taking all necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Many persons with chikungunya fever do not seek medical care and are not reported to health authorities. There may be many more cases in the community that are not reported.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Chikungunya Fever.

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