Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Colombia Chikungunya Virus Outbreak Continues to Spread

Over the last week, Chikungunya has exploded across forty different municipalities in Colombia, pushing several major hospitals in the state capital (Cucuta) to the brink of collapse. This recent, unexpected spike in cases has been mirrored in surrounding countries as well – as of November 3rd, in addition to Colombia, Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and several Caribbean countries have reported over 766,000 cases, with 152 deaths due to the disease reported in the same period.
Approximate Distribution of Chikungunya
Current measures for prevention of the disease's spread have been published by the CDC, and can be found here. Due to the continued absence of a Chikungunya vaccine, vector control remains the best option of limitation of spread/mitigation of damage done. This involves the use of insect repellants like DEET, Picaridin, or Lemon Eucalyptus oil; the destruction of mosquito breeding grounds through standing water drainage and/or, as practiced commonly in the midwestern united states, distributing anti-larval insecticide over larger areas of marshland/bodies of water.

-Matthew Billman

Sources: (Primary) (Primary)

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