Chikungunya fever continues to threaten Americas

As reports of cases of chikungunya fever continue to increase in the Caribbean and elsewhere (over 500,000 cases since December), affected countries can be placed in one of three categories:

  • Countries where there is now established continuing local transmission by locally infected mosquitoes: Dominican Republic (281,850), Haiti (64,695), Guadeloupe (63,000), Martinique (50,600), St. Martin (3,660), Dominica (3,559), El Salvador (1,969), St. Barthelemy (730), French Guiana (665) and Guyana (170).
  • Countries where there have been cases in returning travellers and local transmission is just beginning: Anguilla, Aruba, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Venezuela, and USA.
  • Countries where there have been cases in returning travellers but NO local transmission detected yet: Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, France, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Peru and Spain.

When travellers return to their home countries with chikungunya and the appropriate mosquito that can transmit the disease is present, it may be only a matter of time until the virus begins to spread.

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. Chikungunya virus infections may have long lasting health consequences.

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

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