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Published On: Mon, Feb 3rd, 2014

Chikungunya cases skyrocket in Australia in 2013

Chikungunya fever, the other, less known viral disease transmitted by the Aedes species of mosquito, was seen in Australia in 2013 at a much higher rate than previously, according to a Courier Mail report Saturday.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

They report that there were 127 imported chikungunya cases recorded by health officials in Australia last year, up from 19 in 2012 — a nearly 600 percent increase.

To put this number in perspective, the Australia Department of Health reported 168 cases of chikungunya virus imported into the country between 2002 and 2012.

In the above report, the main sources were Indonesia, India and Malaysia.

Australian travelers to the above countries and others in South East Asia and several of the Pacific islands are at risk of contracting the virus.

According to a World Health Organization (WHO) Fact Sheet, Chikungunya is a viral disease that is spread by mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain.Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.

The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue is common.

There is no cure for the disease. Treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms.

The proximity of mosquito breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for chikungunya.

The disease occurs in Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. In recent decades mosquito vectors of chikungunya have spread to Europe and the Americas. In 2007, disease transmission was reported for the first time in Europe, in a localized outbreak in north-eastern Italy.

The CDC notes there is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent chikungunya. People can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.

 

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Mausy says:

    Virus Chikungunya is about to come in Australia. Just a question of time …

    Informations about the outbreak all around the world, mosquito vector and the virus : http://www.chikungunya.net

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