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Chikungunya: A Serious Concern in 2015!


Just as the world is struggling to deal with the effects of the terrible Ebola virus in West Africa, another serious illness has been rearing its ugly head across the Atlantic in the Caribbean and Central and South America. This virus goes by the name of Chikungunya, and unfortunately, this difficult-to-pronounce name may very well become increasingly prevalent as we run through 2015.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US has estimated that since the illness first started to take hold back in December 2013, there had been nearly 800,000 cases of infection in the 11 months up to November 2014. This was spread across 37 countries in the region – including many that are popular with tourists.

The CDC have stressed that in any given year they would usually expect to see around 28 cases of US citizens returning home with this infection; however, over the past 11 months there have been closer to 1,600 cases of infection in US citizens.

This is an extremely worrying situation! The illness is actually caused by mosquitoes that bite their victims most commonly during the day – this in itself is very unusual. What’s more, the illness is still likely to continue during the autumn and winter months; at a time where many tourists may believe the chances of infection are significantly reduced.

Chikungunya leads to severe fever and aching joints and is particularly problematic in those who suffer with arthritis. It can lead to long-term joint pains and other problems. Those over the age of 65 and sufferers of diabetes are also at more risk from this potentially fatal (although rare) illness.

There would appear to have been a criminal lack of information in this regard to date – which is the fault of governments failing to keep their citizens informed adequately. If you are planning a trip to the region in 2015, it is highly recommended that you carry out your own research in this regard; after all, the news coming out about this illness is insufficient at this time.


Join Wise Traveller Chikungunya 

Quin Hoskins  | December 06, 2014
Categories : Travel Health
Tags : Stay Secure, Travel Advisory, Ebola, Health, Chikungunya