Chikungunya: Global Update
Updated: February 23, 2015
Travel Health Notice
Outbreaks of chikungunya have become increasingly frequent since local transmission was reported for the first time in the Caribbean in December 2013. Since then, local transmission of the virus has spread to many countries in neighbouring regions.
In 2014, there was an increase in travel-related chikungunya cases reported in Canada. The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that travellers protect themselves from mosquito bites when travelling to areas where chikungunya may occur.
Chikungunya 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 fever. There is no vaccine or medication that protects against chikungunya virus.
Where is chikungunya a concern?
Chikungunya occurs in Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Caribbean, the Pacific Islands and the Indian subcontinent. Additional information about chikungunya cases is available on the Pan American Health Organization’s website.
- Caribbean and Americas: Since December 2013, confirmed cases of chikungunya have been reported on many islands in the Caribbean. Local transmission of the virus has also spread to countries in Central and South America, Mexico and Florida in the United States. These cases mark the first time that locally acquired transmission of chikungunya has been detected in the region of the Americas. Outbreaks within these regions are ongoing with over one million suspected and confirmed cases.
- France: In October 2014, 11 locally acquired transmitted cases of chikungunya were reported in Montpellier, a city in southern France. This is the first time that locally acquired transmission of chikungunya has been reported in the country since 2010.
- Ocean Pacific Islands: Outbreaks of chikungunya are ongoing in American Samoa, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, New Caledonia and Samoa.
Several other countries have reported cases in individuals who have travelled to some of these affected areas.
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably 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.