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Travel associated cases of Chikungunya in the United States

on Wed, 07/02/2014 - 06:05

[Updated: December 25, 2014]

The previous post presented the current situation of Chikungunya virus diseases (CHKV) outbreak in the Americas. According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), as October 24th 2014, 36 countries have reported a total of 790,899 cases (including 776,089 suspected cases, 14,810 lab-confirmed cases and 1,817 imported cases) and 152 deaths. These figures represent a cumulative incidence of 81.8 cases per 100,000 populations.

Due to the local transmission of Chikungunya and a lot of travels and exchange with affected countries, other 25 countries of the region have reported imported cases (those people identified as cases of Chikungunya returning from a country with local transmission).  The United States is one of those countries with a high number of travel associated cases or imported cases.

As of December 16th 2014, the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC), reported a total of 2,010 travel-associated cases and 11 locally-transmitted cases of Chikungunya in the continental US for a total of 2,022 cases. The chart below shows the geographic distribution of travel-associated cases across States in the U/S. It is interesting to highlight that 47 States have imported cases, having New York and Florida with higher number of cases (533 and 384 respectively), followed by New Jersey with 160 cases and Massachusetts with 124 cases. Florida is also the only State that has reported 11 cases as a result of local transmition. 

With the current outbreaks in the region of the Americas, the number of chikungunya cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States from affected areas will likely increase. These imported cases could result in local spread of the virus in the continental United States, where temperature and ecological conditions are prone to mosquitos Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus

Travelers to affected countries should take all measures to avoid exposition to mosquitos. More information could be found in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Chikungunya virus web page.

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Louis Sorkin's picture

"These imported cases could result in local spread of the virus in the continental United States, where temperature and ecological condition are prone to mosquitos Aedes Aegyptis ans Aedes Albopictus."
Maybe was autocorrect problem, but the mosquito species names should be Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus.

martiner's picture

Thanks for the heads up. Mosquito species names and other typos were corrected.

BioBob's picture

FYI, Aedes albopictus, a tropical species from Asia, was introduced to Houston in 1985. It has spread from Texas now to Minnesota thru Maine, and Florida. So, all of eastern USA (also Hawaii for some time).

It is now a global species. Quite amazing US range for a tropical species.

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