With newly reported indigenous chikungunya cases in Brazil and Colombia, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) added the two South American countries to an updated travel notice today.

South America/CIA
South America/CIA

According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Colombia has reported 1,350 locally acquired chikungunya cases, while Brazil has reported seven cases to date.

These two countries along with French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela have reported local transmission of chikungunya and are all part of the one travel notice.

CDC recommends that travelers to the South America protect themselves from mosquito bites. Some travelers may be more likely to get chikungunya, have severe disease, or be at higher risk for other reasons. CDC advises travelers in high-risk groups to discuss their travel plans with their health care provider. These groups include the following: People who have arthritis, People with serious underlying medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes), People older than 65, Women who are late in their pregnancies, because of the risk to babies born at the time their mother is sick, Long-term travelers, including missionaries and humanitarian aid workers and people visiting friends and relatives and People who might have difficulty avoiding mosquito bites, such as those planning to spend a lot of time outdoors or staying in rooms without window screens or air conditioning.

There is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent chikungunya. The only way to prevent chikungunya is to prevent mosquito bites. Preventing bites can be difficult, but it is important as you can get sick after just one bite.