Chikungunya virus is widespread in Latin America and the Caribbean - summary

The transmission of chikungunya fever virus is widespread in many Latin American and Caribbean countries. At present, the following countries and localities are reporting on-going transmission:

  • Mexico
  • Costa Rica - most affected provinces are Puntarenas and Guanacaste
  • El Salvador - highest number reported in Central America (3,236 cases)
  • Guatemala
  • Colombia - highest number in South America (6,514)
  • Ecuador
  • Venezuela
  • Argentina - cases reported in Buenos Aires
  • Paraguay

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

Advice For Travellers

It is difficult to estimate the risk of exposure for travellers. The absence of reports from other countries does not necessarily mean there is no transmission in those countries. The decrease in reports may also reflect the priority given to counting Zika fever cases and does not necessarily mean there is less transmission. In addition, there may be some misdiagnosis since chikungunya testing and symptoms can be confused with dengue or Zika. Finally, 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.

All 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.