More dengue than chikungunya and Zika in Medellin Colombia

This year, the number of people infected with dengue fever virus has almost doubled compared to last year. In addition to the almost 6,250 cases, there have been 8 deaths due to this virus. At the same time, the combined number of reported chikungunya and Zika infections is far less (500 cases combined).

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

Advice For Travellers

All three viruses are present in the municipality of Medellin, but the risk of exposure to dengue fever virus may be much higher than the other 2 viruses. Regardless, the risk of exposure will vary from place to place within the city and may be high in many places.

All travellers to areas where these viruses are active can reduce their risk of exposure by taking all necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Many persons with dengue, chikungunya or Zika infections do not seek medical care and are not reported to health authorities. There may be many more cases in the community than the reports indicate.

In addition, there is strong scientific evidence that Zika virus is the cause of microcephaly (small brain) and other neurological abnormalities in newborn infants. As a precautionary measure, women who are pregnant, especially in their first trimester, should consider postponing travel to countries where this virus is spreading or, at a minimum, take extra precautions to avoid mosquito bites.