Chikungunya: advice for travellers
Updated: September 25, 2017
September 2017: Italy has been added to the list of affected countries in Europe.
What is Chikungunya?
Chikungunya virus is spread to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. It typically causes high fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms can include:
- muscle pain
The joint pain can be severe and last for months or years. The symptoms of chikungunya can be very similar to those of dengue and Zika.
There is no available vaccine or medication that protects against chikungunya virus.
Where is chikungunya a concern?
Chikungunya occurs in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans and the Americas. You are at higher risk for infection if you are travelling in a country where there have been recent cases of the disease. High amounts of rainfall in areas where chikungunya occurs can increase risk of transmission.
Countries reporting suspected and confirmed cases of chikungunya in 2017 include:
- France: In August 2017, there were confirmed cases of local transmission in south eastern France. For more information, please visit the World Health Organisation, disease outbreak news.
- Italy: In September 2017, cases were confirmed in the coastal area of Anzio, in Rome and the greater metropolitan area. For more information, please visit the World Health Organization, disease outbreak news.
Caribbean and Americas:
- Costa Rica
- French Guiana
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Barthelemy
- Saint Martin
Further information about chikungunya cases in the Americas is available on the Pan American Health Organization's website.
How can you protect yourself from chikungunya?
Consult a health care provider or visit a travel health clinic preferably six weeks before you travel.
Protect yourself from mosquito bites, at all times. The mosquito that transmits the chikungunya virus bites mostly during daylight hours but will also feed at night.
- Use insect repellant on exposed skin
- Cover up: wear light-coloured, long-sleeved shirts and long pants
- Stay in rooms with air conditioning and places that have intact window and door screens
- Use bed nets: they can also cover playpens, cribs or stroller's protective clothing.
Monitor your health
- If you develop symptoms similar to chikungunya virus infection when travelling or after you return to Canada, seek medical attention.
- Tell your health care provider where you have been travelling or living.
Registration of Canadians Abroad
Sign up with the Registration of Canadians Abroad service to stay connected with the Government of Canada in case of an emergency abroad or an emergency at home.
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