The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued a travel notice Friday for El Salvador due to the chikungunya situation in the Central American country. The CDC reports as of July 12, 2014, 37 chikungunya cases were confirmed in El Salvador. In June 2014, El Salvador reported locally transmitted cases for the first time.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reported July 18 that El Salvador has seen 1,775 suspected and eight confirmed locally acquired chikungunya cases.
CDC recommends that travelers to the El Salvador protect themselves from mosquito bites. Some travelers may be more likely to get chikungunya, have severe disease, or be at higher risk for other reasons. CDC advises travelers in high-risk groups to discuss their travel plans with their health care provider.
These groups include the following: People who have arthritis, People with serious underlying medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes), People older than 65, Women who are late in their pregnancies, because of the risk to babies born at the time their mother is sick, Long-term travelers, including missionaries and humanitarian aid workers and people visiting friends and relatives and people who might have difficulty avoiding mosquito bites, such as those planning to spend a lot of time outdoors or staying in rooms without window screens or air conditioning.
There is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent chikungunya. The only way to prevent chikungunya is to prevent mosquito bites. Preventing bites can be difficult, but it is important as you can get sick after just one bite.
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