Chikungunya case in Spanish man; Americas outbreak grows

The World Health Organization (WHO) today said that Spain has reported its first case of chikungunya in someone with no history of travel to an area where the disease is endemic.

Meanwhile, nearly 6,000 new cases were reported in ongoing disease outbreaks in the Americas.

Man had symptoms in France and Spain

The case occurred in a 60-year-old man from Gandia in the Valencian Community on Spain 's southeastern coast.

His symptoms appeared Jul 7 while he was in France's Languedoc-Roussillon region, which lies on the Mediterranean coast. He was admitted to a hospital in Spain on Jul 11 and remained hospitalized for 6 days. Laboratory tests confirmed chikungunya infection on Jul 31.

The man was symptomatic both while in France and and when he returned to Spain. Spain's epidemiologic investigation is ongoing, and French and Spanish health officials are implementing vector-control practices. The Aedes albopictus (tiger) mosquito, presumed to be the vector for chikungunya, lives in both France and Spain.

Spain reported 10 imported cases of chikungunya in 2014, all of which occurred in people who had travelled to Hispaniola, where case numbers have been high. Two locally acquired chikungunya cases occurred in the French Riviera in 2010, and France reported 126 imported cases between May 2 and Jul 4, 2014. Of these imported cases, 80% of infected people were in French areas where the mosquito vector was present while they were viremic.

The WHO encourages European countries where Aedes albopictus is present to maintain awareness and capacity in laboratory testing for chikungunya and to implement strict vector-control practices.

More than 5,000 new cases in Americas

Elsewhere, cases continue to rise in the chikungunya outbreak in the Caribbean and Americasthat began on the island of St. Martin in Dec 2013. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) in an Aug 7 update reported 5,881 new cases of chikungunya in the region, bringing the outbreak total to 1,628,835.

The new total includes 475,602 suspected and 15,515 confirmed locally acquired cases and 771 imported cases reported in 2015.

As in recent weeks, Colombia reported the largest increase, with 4,351 new cases, bringing its outbreak total this year to 312,873.

Mexico reported 660 new cases, bringing its 2015 total to 3,306 cases, all confirmed. Panama reported 123 suspected cases, bringing its total this year to 153.

See also:

Aug 10 WHO update

Aug 7 PAHO update

Jul 18, 2014, CIDRAP News story on French and Spanish cases

Sep 27, 2010, CIDRAP News scan on locally acquired French cases

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