- At least 2 Coloradans returned home recently from Asia
and East Africa with chikungunya, an infectious disease transmitted by
- According to the national Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention's website, the disease can cause fever, headache, nausea,
joint pain and other symptoms. No deaths related to the infection have
been documented [True in the USA; mortality has been reported in the Indian
Ocean and India epidemics. - Mod.TY]
- Chikungunya is among several types of mosquitoborne diseases
that people can contract when they travel abroad, said John Pape, an epidemiologist
with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "Each
year, we get reports of dengue, malaria, and other diseases from travelers,"
Pape said. "There is no outbreak of these diseases locally, and it's
not mosquito season. So there's really no danger to the general public."
- But Eileen Farnon, a medical epidemiologist with the
CDC, said the disease is nonetheless a concern because mosquitoes may still
be prevalent in other parts of the country. She said at least 28 cases
have been confirmed nationwide [USA] in 2006.
- In India and islands of the Indian Ocean, an outbreak
of chikungunya has afflicted more than 1.4 million people since March 2005.
- (This report cites some additional cases imported into
the USA that were reported by the CDC. The risk of introduction of chikungunya
virus into the western hemisphere, including the USA, is real. Both vectors,
_Aedes aegypti_ and _Ae. albopictus_, are present and even abundant in
some areas. In the USA, _Ae. albopictus_ is distributed in the southern
to central tier of states and Hawaii, and _Ae. aegypti_ is present from
the south eastern states southward through the neotropics. [From answers.com,
a definition of 'neotropics': The biogeographic region of the New World
that stretches southward from the Tropic of Cancer and includes southern
Mexico, Central and South America, and the West Indies. - CopyEd.PG)
- First Chikungunya Fever Case In Taiwan
- By Angelica Oung
- Taipei Times
- The country has reported its first ever case of Chikungunya
fever, a Center for Disease Control (CDC) official said yesterday.
- A 13-year-old Taiwanese student was detected with a high
fever at Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport on Nov. 20 upon his return
from Singapore where he studies.
- At the time, he said he was suffering from fever and
fatigue and after examining a blood sample from the boy, the CDC announced
that he had contracted Chikungunya fever.
- "This disease is very similar to Dengue fever, but
less likely to be fatal" said Chou Jih-haw (©P§ÓE),
the CDC deputy director-general.
- Chikungunya fever patients suffer substantial joint pain
in addition to Dengue fever-like symptoms such as fever, headaches and
muscular aches, Chou said.
- "When the patient entered Taiwan, heat-registering
cameras at the airport indicated that he had a fever" said Chou, "We
were able to conduct a blood test on the spot."
- If the virus is still in its incubating phase, it is
impossible to detect carriers at the airport, said Chou.
- Like Dengue-fever sufferers who are stopped at the airport,
the Chikungunya sufferer was allowed to enter Taiwan with no restrictions
- However, the sufferer and his family will be medically
monitored and the environs of his home sprayed for mosquitos to prevent
the potential spread of the disease.
- "So far, none of his family have come down with
the disease," said Chou, "We think the risk of the disease spreading
and taking root in Taiwan is small."
- However, Chou has asked that doctors be on the lookout
for apparent Dengue cases that could be Chikungunya Fever.
- Tseng Shu-hui (´¿"Q´f), deputy
director of the CDC's fifth division, said 94 Dengue fever suffers are
known to have entered Taiwan this year.
- Of the 94, two thirds were stopped at the airport after
being identified by heat-registering camera technology and the rest were
tracked down following alerts from medical professionals.
- Sri Lanka Confirms Chikungunya Viral Fever Epidemic
- COLOMBO (Reuters) -- Sri Lanka has confirmed an epidemic
of the mosquito-borne Chikungunya viral fever, a top health official said
on Saturday. Doctors suspect it has infected 5,000 people in the island's
- Dr. Nihal Abeysinghe, director of the state Epidemiology
Department, said pockets of the fever had been detected in Sri Lanka's
northwest, south and east, but could not say how many cases had been reported.
- "We have got some samples down to Colombo and we
handed them over to five different laboratories. All five have reported
it as Chikungunya," Abeysinghe said. "You could say it is (an
- "We have confirmed there is an outbreak going on
in Kalmunai, Mannar, Batticaloa, Puttalam and some parts of Colombo city,"
he added. "It is in densely populated pockets."
- Abeysinghe said he believed up to 60 percent of reported
fever cases were due to Chikungunya.
- "There are several different fevers. Not all fevers
reported are Chikungunya," he said, but added that bird flu was "very,
very unlikely because there are no respiratory symptoms, no cough or cold
or anything like that".
- However laboratories had yet to confirm whether an outbreak
of viral fever in the northern Jaffna peninsula, cut off from the rest
of the country for months amid renewed civil war between the state and
Tamil Tiger rebels, was Chikungunya as suspected.
- DENGUE TOO
- The outbreak comes as Sri Lanka also grapples with a
sharp increase in dengue fever cases as monsoon rains create breeding conditions
for mosquitoes which carry the diseases.
- Symptoms of Chikungunya include high fever, joint and
muscular pain, severe headaches, body aches and a rash similar to that
seen in dengue patients. While the disease is painful, the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says no deaths from Chikungunya
have been documented in scientific literature.
- Dr. A. Ketheeswaran, director of provincial health services
for the Jaffna peninsula, suspects the viral fever spreading in the far
north is Chikungunya.
- "In Jaffna, this viral fever which has the symptoms
of Chikungunya is spreading very fast. I find that more than 5,000 people
have been infected," Ketheeswaran said.
- Cut off behind rebel lines, Jaffna residents are living
on rations shipped in by sea from the south, and medicines and food are
in short supply. Residents said doctors had recommended paracetamol as
a fever preventive, but most shops had run out.
- Abeysinghe said it was very unlikely that Chikungunya
caused the death on the peninsula of a Tamil woman suffering from viral
fever on Friday.
- "It is very unlikely to be (due to Chikungunya).
There may be a lot of other disease conditions associated with these people
who are reported to have died due to Chikungunya," he said.
- Chikungunya, Swahili for "that which bends up",
was first isolated in the blood of a febrile patient in Tanzania in 1953,
the CDC said.
- Patricia A. Doyle DVM, PhD
- Bus Admin, Tropical Agricultural Economics
- Univ of West Indies
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- Zhan le Devlesa tai sastimasa
- Go with God and in Good Health