Chikungunya continues to spread in the Caribbean and in Latin America. A compilation of case numbers from international, national and local governments along with media reports places the total at 267,766 illnesses since Dec. 1, 2013. The last two weeks have seen the mosquito borne viral illness arrive on the mainland of Central and South America.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has been gathering chikungunya case counts from the nations of the Western Hemisphere. It is the most accurate aggregation available but there are many nations lagging in their reporting due to the lack of public health resources. As of the June 27 report, the PAHO has received data for 4,721 lab confirmed cases of chikungunya and 259,723 suspected cases in 22 nations and territories.
The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) also is reporting weekly data on chikungunya illnesses in the Americas. Reporting lags are worse for this international agency and its totals are generally less than those of the PAHO. The ECDC does report chikungunya-related deaths and for June 27 it notes 21 such deaths.
Statements from local governments and the news media provide additional data on the spread of chikungunya. The islands of Barbados, Bonaire and Grenada are reported to have imported cases of the illness. Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Panama and Peru have a mix of imported and locally acquired cases in small numbers. El Salvador is experiencing a large outbreak of 1,300 illnesses that seem to be chikungunya but testing has only confirmed a handful.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the continental United States has 71 imported cases of chikungunya. Puerto Rico has 14 locally acquired illnesses and the U.S. Virgin Islands have one locally acquired case. Those totals, however, are through June 24.
Florida has updated its total number of imported chikungunya illnesses to 48 and local health departments have since added two more to a total of 50. Puerto Rico is reporting 23 cases of locally acquired chikungunya and the Virgin Islands have increased their local total to three. Imported cases announced since the CDC’s last report have come from Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and West Virginia.
Compiled data from many sources give a total of 98 imported cases of chikungunya in the continental United States. In Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, all reported cases were locally acquired and they add an additional 27 to increase the U.S. grand total to 124 cases of chikungunya.