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Chikungunya in the Caribbean and the Americas

Updated: August 05, 2014

Travel Health Notice

Since December 2013, confirmed cases of chikungunya have been reported on many islands in the Caribbean. These cases mark the first time that locally acquired transmission of chikungunya has been detected in the region of the Americas. Local transmission of the virus has also spread to countries in Central and South America and Florida in the United States. Several other countries have reported cases in individuals who have travelled to some of these affected areas. Additional information about these chikungunya cases is available on the Pan American Health OrganizationExternal link’s website. 

The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that travellers protect themselves from mosquito bitesExternal link when travelling to these destinations.

ChikungunyaExternal link is a disease caused by the chikungunya virus which typically causes fever, along with an arthritis-like pain in the joints and a rash. It is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. Although caused by a different virus, the symptoms of chikungunya can appear very similar to those of dengue feverExternal link.

Recommendations

Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic at least six weeks before you travel.

  • Protect yourself from mosquito bites, particularly during peak mosquito biting times around sunrise and sunset.
  • If you develop symptoms similar to chikungunya when you are travelling or after you return, see a health care provider and tell them where you have been travelling or living.