The surge of chikungunya cases in the Caribbean region is making ripples in Europe, and the disease could become a bigger threat there if it gains a firmer foothold in Central and South America, according to reports published yesterday in Eurosurveillance.
In other developments, Jamaica reported its first imported chikungunya case today, and a media outlet offered some new details on the first locally acquired cases in Florida, saying they involve a 41-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man. The cases were first revealed yesterday.
French and Spanish casesThe European Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC) in its latest weekly communicable disease threat report said several European countries have reported travel-linked cases, and separate reports in Eurosurveillance detailed cases in two of them, France and Spain
The French report describes 126 imported chikungunya cases detected in mainland France from May 2 through Jul 4, many in people who had traveled to the French Caribbean area. Between Nov 1, 2013, a month after the first cases in the Caribbean, and Jun 27, 475 cases were detected in France. In contrast, only 33 and 17 cases were reported in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
The authors noted that 47 of the patients with lab-confirmed infections live in districts in which Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, one of the...