Locally acquired chikungunya (CHIKV) were first detected in the Western hemisphere in December 2013 on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin and since then, 1,428,549 suspected and confirmed autochthonous CHIKV cases have been reported.
Colombia, in South America, saw their first local transmission of CHIKV last July and since that time, more than 292,000 cases have been seen.
As has been reported on this website frequently, Colombia has been the chikungunya hotspot in recent months and now official data supports that.
In 2015, 294,140 suspected and confirmed CHIKV cases have been reported in the Americas and Colombia has seen the Lion’s share with 201,000 of that total, or 68 percent of the annual total to date.
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. It can cause high fever, join and muscle pain, and headache. Chikungunya does not often result in death, but the joint pain may last for months or years and may become a cause of chronic pain and disability.
There is no specific treatment for chikungunya infection, nor any vaccine to prevent it. Pending the development of a new vaccine, the only effective means of prevention is to protect individuals against mosquito bites.