First Chikungunya Case in Spain is Reported to WHO

On Aug. 3, 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) was notified by the National IHR Focal Point for Spain of a case of chikungunya infection in the city of Gandia, Valencian Community. This is the first time that an individual with no history of travel to a chikungunya-endemic area tests positive for the disease in Spain.

The patient is a 60-year-old man. He developed symptoms on July 7 in France and sought medical care on July 8 while still in France. Following his return to Spain, the patient was hospitalized on July 11 and discharged on July 16. Patient blood samples were collected on July 23. On July 31, he was laboratory confirmed to be positive for chikungunya by identification of IgM in serum by ELISA testing. During his probable incubation period and while symptomatic – this is the period when a patient can acquire the infection and transmit it to others – the patient stayed in the Valencian Community, Spain and in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, France where the competent vector Aedes albopictus has been shown to be present.

Spanish health authorities are carrying out epidemiological and entomological investigations as well as establishing vector control measures. National health authorities in France have informed local health authorities, which are implementing vector control activities in the areas visited by the patient.

WHO encourages countries to develop and maintain the clinical and laboratory capacity to detect and confirm cases, manage patients and implement social communication strategies to engage the community in reducing the presence of the mosquito vectors.

Source: WHO