According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), through February 18, 62,356 total cases, including 26,223 confirmed cases have been reported. 90 percent have been reported in metro Asunción.
This prompted the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a travel notice for travelers to the South American country.
Health officials say travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites, including using insect repellent; wearing long-sleeved shirts and pants; and staying in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.
In addition, travelers to these areas should seek medical care if they develop fever, joint pain, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.
Chikungunya is caused by the chikungunya virus and is spread to humans through mosquito bites. Outbreaks have occurred in countries in Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean, Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Most people infected with chikungunya virus develop some symptoms. Symptoms of chikungunya disease usually begin 3–7 days after a bite by an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, and rash. Most people get better within a week; however, some can have severe joint pain for months.
People at risk for more severe disease include newborns infected around the time of birth, older adults (65 years or older), and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease. Death from chikungunya is rare.
There is no specific treatment or approved vaccine for chikungunya.