Rio’s chikungunya surge; Regional dengue update

A local news source is reporting that the year-to-date count of chikungunya infections for Rio de Janeiro state has tipped 36,000 (to Nov 13), with a further 13,886 dengue fever cases and 2,223 Zika virus infections. Awareness campaigns have been rolled out for the peak summer season. Read more. THE Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) regional summary of dengue fever notes that Brazil is one of 13 countries reporting a year-on-year rise in cases, the others being Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Paraguay and Venezuela. 2018 data up to early November for the region: more than 446,000 cases and 240 related deaths. Read the PAHO report here.

Advice for travellers

Chikungunya virus is spread by the same daytime-feeding mosquitoes that transmit dengue fever. There is no vaccine and preventing infection relies on avoiding mosquito bites. Apply an effective repellent when outdoors to all exposed skin. Read more about chikungunya.

Before you travel, call Travelvax Australia’s telephone advisory service on 1300 360 164 (toll-free from landlines) for country-specific advice and information. You can also make an appointment at your nearest Travelvax clinic to obtain vaccinations, medication to prevent or treat illness, and accessories for your journey.