6,149 Chikungunya Virus Cases Reported in The Congo During 2019

CHIKV-VLP chikungunya virus vaccine candidate received FDA Fast Track designation

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The World Health Organization (WHO) said a total of 6,149 suspected cases of the chikungunya virus have been reported in the Republic of Congo, from January 7 to April 14, 2019. 

The WHO says ‘the scale of this chikungunya virus outbreak has likely been underestimated, given the limited detection capacity of the surveillance system in the Republic of the Congo. 

Based on available information, the risk of continued transmission and spread of chikungunya to unaffected areas in the Congo cannot be ruled out. The overall risk is considered moderate at both the national and regional levels. 

The Republic of the Congo is located on the west coast of Africa and has approximately 5.1 million residents. 

Chikungunya virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms of infection are fever and joint pain says the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

In late 2013, chikungunya virus was found for the first time in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean. And, there is a risk that the virus will be imported to new areas by infected travelers. 

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Beginning in 2014, chikungunya virus disease local transmission was identified in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

As of January 8, 2019, a total of 90 chikungunya virus disease cases with illness onset in 2018 have been reported from 23 U.S. states. 

Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat chikungunya virus infection, says the CDC.

But, several vaccine candidates are progressing in clinical trials, such as:

Relevant Links:  CDC vaccination schedules, CDC price list, how to report vaccine side effects, and international travel alerts.