At least 79 confirmed chikungunya cases have been reported in the Mexican Pacific coast state of Guerrero, according to a El Universal report. More than 70 percent of the cases in the state have been reported in the beach resort city of Acapulco.
Other areas in Guerrero reporting chikungunya cases include 15 in the region of Costa Chica, six cases in Zihuatanejo and two more in Petatlán. There has been no fatalities reported.
Health authorities have launched mosquito awareness and extermination campaigns in the coastal regions of the state.
Beginning in October 2014, the first locally transmitted cases of chikungunya were reported in Mexico. Local transmission means that mosquitoes in Mexico have been infected with chikungunya and are spreading it to people.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has reported 405 confirmed autochthonous and 21 imported chikungunya cases as of Mar. 20.
The CDC issued their latest travel notice for Mexico due to chikungunya in February.
To date, more than 1.3 million locally acquired chikungunya cases have been reported in the Americas since the first cases were reported on St Martin in Dec. 2013.
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.