Between 1 January and 31 October 2006, 106 cases with evidence of chikungunya infection, have been reported by the HPA Special Pathogens Reference Unit (SPRU).
Of those, 29 have been laboratory confirmed (PCR and/or virus isolation), 29 are probable cases (clinical symptoms and IgG, IgM positive), 33 are classified as suspected cases (clinical symptoms, relevant travel history and IgG positive), and 15 have had a past exposure (IgG positive with no clinical details or travel history, or IgG positive with history of past exposure).
Of the total, 67 cases reported travel to the Indian Ocean islands (57 to Mauritius , six to the Seychelles , and four to Madagascar ), where a large outbreak was reported earlier in the year . These cases were received at SPRU between 2 March and 31 August 2006, and the outbreak has since declined. Twenty cases (received at SPRU between 30 May and 26 October 2006) reported recent travel to India , where an outbreak began in February 2006 . Over a million suspected cases have been reported in India since the outbreak began, with 1831 cases confirmed. As of 12 December 2006, twelve of the country’s 31 states have been affected of which, Karnataka (298 confirmed, 762,026 suspected cases) and Maharashtra (774 confirmed, 268,321 suspected cases) have been most affected. Other states affected have been Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Kerala, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi, Rajasthan, Pondicherry , and Goa  . Further to this, an outbreak of suspected chikungunya has also been reported in Sri Lanka , although as of 31 October, no cases of chikungunya, related to travel to Sri Lanka , have been received by the SPRU.
Nearly 800,000 United Kingdom residents travelled to India in 2005, a 21% increase compared to 2004 . Although the chikungunya outbreak appears to be in decline , travellers to India and Sri Lanka should be aware of the risk of infection, which is transmitted by mosquitoes of the Aedes species (the same mosquito that transmits dengue fever, which is also prevalent in India ). Aedes mosquitoes are active during daylight hours (particularly around dusk and dawn) and prevention relies on bite avoidance. Further information about this can be found on the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) website at < http://www.nathnac.org/pro/factsheets/iba.htm >.
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Sub-editorChikungunya :: Imported chikungunya in the United Kingdom
by Sub-editor ( Author at Spirit India )
Posted on December 17th, 2006 at 1:14 pm.
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