Three viruses, dengue, chikungunya and Zika, are widespread in the Americas

In the temperate and tropical countries in the Americas (southern USA to northern Argentina), dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses are widespread. Some of the most affected countries are Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Trinidad and Tobago, among others, including tourist destinations in the Caribbean.

These viruses are all spread by the very common aedes mosquito that is found throughout the southern USA, Mexico, Central America, South America and the Caribbean. Dengue and chikungunya viruses can cause severe illness and death, and Zika has been shown to be a cause of severe neurological damage in newborn infants.

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

Advice For Travellers

The concentration of these viruses in the population is not uniform. In some localities, there may be more dengue virus circulating than chikungunya virus, and vice versa. In some localities the risk of exposure to one or more of these viruses may vary, but the risk may be high in many areas. 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.

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