The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their previous travel notice on Paraguay from late February on April 6. The travel notice was issued because of the chikungunya outbreak in Paraguay.
Health authorities point out that updates include all departments in Paraguay are now reporting cases. In addition, recent cases of chikungunya have been reported among US travelers returning from Paraguay.
According to the CDC, 16 total imported chikungunya cases have been reported in the US through April 1. Ten of the cases have been reported from New York City (8) and New York State (2).
The data does not include where the cases are imported from.
The Paraguay Ministry of Health has reported 113,832 total chikungunya cases since the beginning of the year, with some 62,000 cases classified as confirmed or probable.
70 deaths have been reported.
Officials say the disease is seen throughout the country with 49% of the cases reported in Asunción and Central , and 51% in the interior of the country, with Alto Paraná and Guairá reporting the most.
What can travelers do to prevent chikungunya?
Use an EPA-registered insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, treat clothing and gear with permethrin, keep mosquitoes out of your hotel room or lodging and sleep under a mosquito net if you are outside or when screened rooms are not available.
Chikungunya disease 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 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.