Despite all the efforts the Dominican Republic Health Ministry have taken to get the chikungunya outbreak in the country under control, the number of cases continue to increase, and sometimes increase greatly, week after week.
According to the latest data published by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the Dominican Republic reported an additional 58,538 cases during the past week–going from 193,413 cases last Friday to over a quarter million (251,951) today.
Overall in the Americas, the total number of autochthonous chikungunya cases is up to 442,019, up 86,402 cases from last week.
Puerto Rico, who just declared a chikungunya epidemic, has reported nearly 700 cases, significantly higher than the 200+ cases published in local media.
Both the United States and Venezuela reported their first locally acquired cases during the past week. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page
Although it’s not included in the PAHO data, Jamaica had their first imported chikungunya case confirmed this week.
As the folks over at CIDRAP reported today, several European countries have reported travel-linked cases including France and Spain.
Referencing a new Eurosurveillance report, the authors write, “two experts from France and Spain list factors that increase the threat of chikungunya outbreaks in Europe.
“One is that A albopictus is probably a competent transmitter of chikungunya in the Caribbean (though the question is not yet settled), they wrote. Local A albopictus mosquitoes fueled a 250-case outbreak in Italy in 2007, and mosquitoes are active in Europe now, they noted.
“The odds of controlling CHIKV [chikungunya virus] dissemination to Europe will become lower if, as expected, CHIKV spreads during the summer to continental South America,” the editorial says. “Indeed, it is plausible that the long feared epidemic in South America will be ongoing for months and maybe years, continuously fuelling the flow of imported cases.” Other points the commentators make include lab capacity in Europe for detecting chikungunya is limited and needs to be increased and chikungunya poses a threat to blood safety in Europe, and blood donations by travelers returning from affected areas should be temporarily deferred.