Chikungunya increases relentlessly in Americas

The chikungunya fever epidemic in the Americas continues to expand. Cases and outbreaks are being reported from the following countries:

Caribbean islands with local transmission by locally infected mosquitoes include British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic (26 provinces report more than 480,000 cases), Grenada (more than half the population infected), Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St Eustatius, Trinidad & Tobago and US Virgin Islands.

Countries in Central America with local transmission by locally infected mosquitoes include El Salvador (cases increase four fold in 1 week to more than 16,000), Guatemala, and Panama.

Countries in South America with local transmission by locally infected mosquitoes include Brazil (Amapa, Bahia), Colombia (Bolivar, Atlantic, Risaralda and Magdalena Departments), Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela.

Countries with imported cases but no evidence of local transmission include Argentina, Nicaragua and USA (with exception of sporadic local transmission in Florida).

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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