Italy has reported nearly 200 chikungunya cases in the Lazio Region and this has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a travel notice for the area.
As of Sep. 26, 183 confirmed and suspected locally acquired cases of the mosquito borne illness in the coastal areas of Anzio and Latina as well as the city of Rome. Three confirmed cases have also been notified from other areas with a travel history to Anzio.
Local transmission means that mosquitoes in those areas of Italy have been infected with chikungunya and are spreading it to people.
Chikungunya is spread through mosquito bites and can cause symptoms such as fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rash, and pain in the eyes, joints, and muscles.
Public health officials are responding by spraying for mosquitoes, issuing guidelines for healthcare providers, and educating the public about chikungunya and how to prevent mosquito bites.
Health officials recommend the following precaution be taken to avoid infection with mosquito borne diseases like chikungunya:
- Prevent mosquito bites.
- Discuss your travel plans with your healthcare provider if you’re in one of the following groups, which may be more likely to get chikungunya, have severe disease, or be at higher risk for other reasons:
- 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 of severe disease for babies born at the time their mother is sick
- Long-term travelers, including missionaries, 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