PAHO reports 1,100 new chikungunya cases in recent weeks
In the past month the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has reported 1,106 new chikungunya infections, bringing the yearly total to 184,636 confirmed, suspected, and imported cases.
Because of the low numbers, CIDRAP News has not reported on the outbreak since PAHO's Nov 3 update. During the most recent weeks, Peru reported by far the highest increase, with 782 new cases and 2,450 total for the year, according PAHO's Dec 1 update. Colombia was next, with 52 new cases, for a total of 1,047 so far in 2017, and Bolivia reported 45 new cases and 3,326 total.
Several other nations reported small increases, including the United States, which has now confirmed 93 imported cases this year. A host of nations, however, including Brazil, which has reported more than 90% of this year's total, have not reported on their chikungunya situation for many weeks. Brazil has not reported its numbers to PAHO for 3 months.
Since the outbreak began in 2013 on the Caribbean island of St. Martin, the Americas region has reported 2,570,767 cases.
In related news, a Dec 1 study in Travel Medicine and Infectious Disease reports that chronic inflammatory rheumatism is common in patients even a full year after infection. Colombian scientists reported that 38 of 65 lab-confirmed patients (58.5%) had at least one persistent rheumatologic symptom in the year after infection, and 28 (43.1%) had chronic polyarthralgia—arthritis pain in more than one joint.
Dec 1 PAHO update
Dec 1 Travel Med Infect Dis study
FDA advisers recommend paring back on Zika blood donor screening
An expert advisory panel has recommended that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) relax its recommendations on screening blood for Zika virus because of few new cases, Thomson Reuters reported Dec 1.
The advisors recommended testing small groups of donated blood samples in lieu of testing every individual blood donor sample. In 2016, at the height of the Zika outbreak in the America's the FDA advised all blood centers to screen all blood for Zika virus.
Cases since then have tumbled. In the Miami area, for example, a hotbed of Zika activity last year, only two local cases have been confirmed this year.
Dec 1 Thomson Reuters story