Travel Alert South America March 15th 2016

Chikungunya in South America

Chikungunya cases had been initially noted in French Guiana at the end of 2013. The condition has spread throughout the South Americas including

Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Peru , Venezuela

Prevention Methods

The CDC has recommended that all visitors to South America take extra precautions in terms of bite prevention.

High risk groups for Chikungunya include

  • Travelers over age 65
  • Those who have pre-existing arthritis
  •  Serious chronic disease e.g. Ischaemic heart disease/Diabetes Mellitus
  • Long term visitors and those staying mainly in rural areas

Medical Facts

  • Virus transmitted via mosquitos
  • No travel vaccination available to prevent
  • Spread via same mosquito as Dengue-Aedes specie
  • Most usual symptoms –joint aches particularly hands/feet
  • Other general symptoms include headache, myalgia and rashes
  • Majority recover within 7 days
  • Can cause long term joint pain
  • Death from the condition is very rare

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