Colombia’s second largest city has declared a health alert this week in an effort to control the spread of the Chikungunya virus, according to a Terra report Monday (computer translated).


Medellín health secretary, Juan Carlos Giraldo Salinas says the health alert was issued after the detection of 600 suspected cases in the department of Antioquia.

Immediate interventions such as bed nets and mosquito spraying have been instituted. However, a shortage of mosquito repellents concerns health officials.

The alert in Medellin confirms the rapid spread of the virus in the country, where according to latest figures updated by the Ministry of Health reveal some 74,566 cases. Most of those infected are concentrated in the Caribbean region, which highlights the department of Bolivar in the north, with 29,677 cases.

Deputy Health Minister Fernando Ruiz Gómez announced that there will be a new peak of contagion between the third week of January and all of February . He also did not rule out that after that period the number of cases will continue to rise by the end of 2015.

In fact, the health minister estimates that the country will see 700,000 cases in 2015.