Travel notice updated for chikungunya virus

Centers for Disease Control offers advice as virus spreads

With the number of confirmed cases of the mosquito-spread virus chikungunya having risen to more than 7,000, a travel notice for Mexico has been updated by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC has identified several groups as high risk because they may be more likely to contract the disease or experience severe symptoms.

Those groups include people who suffer from arthritis or serious underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes, those over 65, women in advanced pregnancy, long-term travelers and people who might find it hard to avoid mosquitoes because will spend a lot of time outdoors or staying in places without window screens or air conditioning.

As Mexican health authorities have said, the only way to prevent chikungunya is to prevent mosquito bites by covering exposed skin and using a repellent, and by sleeping with a mosquito net or in rooms equipped with air conditioning or window screens.

Chikungunya can only be spread by mosquitoes. Symptoms can include fever and joint pain, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or a rash.

Outbreak News Today reports that 467 imported chikungunya cases have been reported in the U.S. this year, but no local transmission of the virus by mosquitoes. It also said there have been more than 162,000 cases in Central America this year.

Mexico News Daily

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