Recent locally acquired chikungunya cases reported in Venezuela and Costa Rica has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue notices for travelers going to these countries.

Image/CDC
Image/CDC

As of July 25, Venezuela has reported nine autochthonous chikungunya cases plus 48 imported cases. Autochthonous, or “locally transmitted” means that mosquitoes in the area have been infected with chikungunya and are spreading it to people.

As of July 15, 2014, 2 chikungunya cases were confirmed in Costa Rica. Beginning in June, Costa Rica reported locally transmitted cases for the first time. 

CDC recommends that travelers to Venezuela or Costa Rica 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
  • 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

The current number of locally acquired cases reported in the Americas stands at 472,000, with an addition 600 imported cases as of Friday. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

Related: CDC releases updated travel notices for Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia due to Ebola outbreak