Public Health Agency of Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Share this page

Chikungunya in the Caribbean and South America

Updated: February 24, 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 been confirmed in French Guiana indicating spread to South America. Additional information about these chikungunya cases is available on the Pan American Health Organization’s websiteExternal link.

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

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.