CDC: New Concerns about CHIKV

Article

Chikungunya (CHIKV) virus infection can be hard to distinguish from dengue. Both of these mosquito-borne, acute febrile illnesses have become endemic in the Caribbean and the Americas, with locally acquired cases also starting to turn up in Florida. A new proactive household CHIKV surveillance program begun in January 2014 in Puerto Rico found that cross-testing for dengue and CHIKV found that the actual incidence of CHIKV is higher than thought. By visiting households in addition to getting reports from public health agencies, the CDC found 282 cases per 100,000 residents.

Chikungunya (CHIKV) virus infection can be hard to distinguish from dengue virus infection. Both of these mosquito-borne, acute febrile illness have become endemic in the Caribbean and the Americas, with locally acquired cases also starting to turn up in Florida.

In Puerto Rico, a new proactive household CHIKV surveillance program begun in January 2014 found that cross-testing for dengue and CHIKV reveaked that the actual incidence of CHIKV is higher than thought. By visiting households in addition to getting reports from public health agencies, the CDC and public health workers in Puerto Rico found 282 CHIKV cases per 100,000 residents.

In a report in the Dec. 5 issue of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report the CDC’s Tyler Sharp, PhD and colleagues urge travelers to Puerto Rico—and residents—to take greater precautions to prevent being bitten by mosquitoes.

“Residents of and travelers to areas of the tropics with ongoing CHIKV and dengue virus transmission should employ mosquito avoidance strategies to prevent illness. Such strategies should include use of mosquito repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and staying in residences with air conditioning and screens on doors and windows,” the authors warn.

“The household investigations conducted during the chikungunya epidemic in Puerto Rico identified cases that had not been reported, suggesting that the magnitude of the epidemic is larger than suggested by passive surveillance,” Sharp wrote.

In 4,433 cases where doctors were not sure whether patients had CHIKV or dengue, 9.6% were positive for dengue. When those patients were tested for CHICKV 14% were positive. Of 761 suspected CHIKV cases, 14% were positive for dengue. None of the patients had both viruses.

The authors recommend that patients should always be tested for both viruses.

The illness can be fatal. It can also cause long-term joint pain. But unlike dengue infection, CHIKV fever also confers immunity to future infections for those who recover. Additional information on chikungunya, including up-to-date case counts and affected areas, is available here.

Related Videos
A Year of RSV Highs and Lows, with Tina Tan, MD
Ryan A. Smith, MD: RSV Risk in Patients with IBD
Cedric Rutland, MD: Exploring Immunology's Role in Molecule Development
Cedric Rutland, MD: Mechanisms Behind Immunology, Cellular Communication
Glenn S. Tillotson, PhD: Treating Immunocompromised Patients With RBX2660
Paul Feuerstadt, MD: Administering RBX2660 With a Colonoscopy
Jessica Allegretti, MD, MPH: Evaluating the First Few Months of RBX2660
Naim Alkhouri, MD: Improving NASH Diagnosis With FibroScan
Sahil Khanna, MBBS, MS: Reaction to the Approval of Vowst for rCDI
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.