A resident of the capital district of Rio Abajo, Panama is the second autochthonous, or locally acquired chikungunya case reported in the Central American country, according to a Prensa Latina report Monday. Panamanian health officials reported the 1st locally acquired chikungunya case one month ago.
According to the latest update from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Panama has also reported a dozen imported chikungunya cases this year to date.
Another viral disease transmitted by the Aedes mosquito, dengue fever, has been present in significant numbers this year in Panama. The PAHO data shows that as of epidemiological week 19, Panama has seen 5,739 dengue cases (3707 suspected and 2032 confirmed cases). Included in this total is eight fatalities.
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. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page