Chikungunya: advice for travellers
Updated: March 19, 2018
- Updated information on outbreaks in France and Italy
- El Salvador, Guatemala and Kenya have been added to list of countries reporting cases
- Original Publication Date: September 25, 2017
Where is chikungunya a concern?
Chikungunya occurs in some parts of: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. 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 the risk of transmission.
Listed below are regions and countries reporting suspected and confirmed cases of chikungunya in 2017 and 2018.
- Europe: It is unusual to have local transmission of chikungunya reported in Europe.
- France: Between August and November, 2017, France reported 15 confirmed and two probable cases of local transmission in south eastern France.
- Italy: Between September and November, 2017, Italy has reported 238 confirmed and 190 probable cases in the Lazio region (includes Anzio, Rome and Latina) and Calabria region.
- Caribbean and Americas: It is common to have local transmission of chikungunya reported in the Caribbean and Americas.
- Costa Rica
- El Salvador
- French Guiana
- Puerto Rico
- Saint Barthelemy
- Saint Martin
- Asia: It is common to have local transmission of chikungunya reported in Asia.
- Africa: It is common to have local transmission of chikungunya reported in Africa.
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.
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 strollers
Monitor your health
- If you develop symptoms of chikungunya when you are travelling or after you return, see a health care provider. Tell them where you have been travelling or living.
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