Travel Bulletin Asia: Parts of Asia and the Indian Ocean Region Report Cases of Chikungunya Fever2 min read
According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), chikungunya fever continues to be active in Asia and the Indian Ocean region:
In 2009, the Ministry of Health in Malaysia reported over 4,430 cases of chikungunya fever. No deaths were reported. The most affected areas were the northern provinces of Sarawak Kedah, followed by Kelantan, Selangor, and Perak. Chikungunya fever activity has decreased in 2010. As of August 28, there are an additional 751 reported cases, which have occurred predominately in Sarawak and Saba provinces.
During 2009, Thailand reported 49,069 cases of chikungunya fever. Limited chikungunya activity has continued in 2010. Most cases have been reported in the south of the country. As of August 31, 2010, India has reported 16,870 suspected cases from 14 states. The majority of cases were from Karnataka, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Gujarat states. In 2009, over 43,000 cases were also reported in Indonesia.
Limited chikungunya activity continues in the French island of Reunion. As of September 1, 2010, 110 confirmed and 38 probable cases of chikungunya were reported. Most of the cases have been identified in the western commune of Saint-Paul. Health authorities have increased surveillance for chikungunya on the island.
Advice for Travelers
No medications or vaccines are available to prevent a person from getting sick with chikungunya fever. CDC recommends that people traveling to areas where chikungunya fever has been reported take the following steps to protect themselves from mosquito bites.
– When outdoors or in a building that is not well screened, use insect repellent on uncovered skin. If sunscreen is needed, apply before insect repellent.
– Look for a repellent that contains one of the following active ingredients: DEET, picaridin (KBR 3023), Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus/PMD, or IR3535. Always follow the instructions on the label when you use the repellent.
– In general, repellents protect longer against mosquito bites when they have a higher concentration (%) of any of these active ingredients. However, concentrations above 50% do not offer a distinct increase in protection time. Products with less than 10% of an active ingredient may offer only limited protection, often only 12 hours.
– The American Academy of Pediatrics approves the use of repellents with up to 30% DEET on children over 2 months of age.
– Protect babies less than 2 months old by using a carrier draped with mosquito netting with an elastic edge for a tight fit.
– Wear loose, long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors.
– For greater protection, clothing may also be sprayed with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA-registered repellent. (Remember: don’t use permethrin on skin.)
If you get sick with a fever and think you may have chikungunya fever, you should seek medical care. Although there is no specific treatment for the disease, a doctor may be able to help treat your symptoms. Avoid getting any other mosquito bites, because if you are sick and a mosquito bites you, it can spread the disease to other people.
Copyright © 2010, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention