The number of autochthonous chikungunya cases in the Latin Caribbean, which includes the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti, Martinique, Puerto Rico and four other countries, has gone over the 700,000 case mark, according to the latest data from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
This milestone was mainly due to the additional 20,000 locally transmitted cases reported from the Dominican Republic during the past week–going from 467,000 to 486,300 cases.
The total number of locally acquired cases in the Western hemisphere is now at 738,715.
In the Andean area of South America, the number of cases in Colombia is now up to 1,350 and Venezuela is reporting 1,168.
In Colombia, President Juan Manuel Santos called for stepped-up preventive measures to avoid infection with the chikungunya virus. According to a Prensa Latina report, there are estimations showing that the number of cases could reach around 700,000, Santos said.
Colombia has also reported more than 100,000 suspected and confirmed dengue fever cases as of Sept. 12. The same mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti, transmits both viral infections and is ever present in the region.
In a PAHO Epidemiological Alert published on Aug. 29, The threats posed by the seasonal increase of dengue transmission and the introduction, or risks of introduction of the chikungunya virus in the Region require an integrated approach of prevention and vector control activities of both diseases. With the rapid spread of the chikungunya virus observed in some countries of the Americas, simultaneous dengue and chikungunya outbreaks may occur, which would result in increased health care demand. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page