Dengue-like chikungunya virus reported in El Salvador

June 15, 2014

Salvadoran health authorities confirmed Saturday that a dengue-like disease that has been spreading across the Caribbean has now appeared in the Central-American country.

Health Minister Violeta Menjivar said at least 1,200 people have been formally diagnosed with the chikungunya viral disease, although the positive testing must still be confirmed by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Menjivar, interviewed by state-run Channel 10 television, said that cases were found on the outskirts of the Ayutuxtepeque municipality just outside the capital San Salvador.

In that area at the end of May, the ministry's epidemiologists and infectious disease specialists detected an outbreak of a rare that caused fever and skin rash, which they said affected at least 181 people.

She said suspected cases were also found in residents in two other area on the edge of northern San Salvador.

The mosquito that transmits chikungunya—the Aedes aegypti—is the same one that spreads dengue.

The health ministry has asked people "to eliminate breeding sites" at their homes.

There is no vaccine or treatment for , which has infected millions of people in Africa and Asia since the disease was first recorded in 1952.

It has also spread to southern Europe—with an outbreak in Italy in 2007 and southern France in 2010—and arrived in the Caribbean last year, appearing in Martinique and Saint Martin.

Chikungunya produces symptoms similar to , including high fever, joint pain and skin rash.

The disease's name is derived from an east African word meaning "that which bends up," referring to the way that patients are stooped over in pain.

Explore further: WHO sees first chikungunya cases in western hemisphere

Related Stories

WHO sees first chikungunya cases in western hemisphere

December 10, 2013
Cases of chikungunya have occurred on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin, marking the first time the mosquito-borne disease has spread in the western hemisphere, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Tuesday.

Mosquito-borne virus spreads rapidly in Haiti (Update)

May 13, 2014
A mosquito-borne virus that was detected for the first time in Haiti last week has quickly spread throughout the Caribbean nation, a health official said Tuesday.

US Virgin Islands confirms first chikungunya case (Update)

June 11, 2014
A nasty mosquito-borne virus that has been spreading rapidly in the Caribbean has made its way to the U.S. Virgin Islands, authorities said Wednesday.

Scientists: Mosquito virus spreads to Americas

December 17, 2013
A nasty virus first detected in Africa that is spread to people by the bite of infected mosquitoes is being locally transmitted in the Americas for the first time on the tiny French Caribbean dependency of St. Martin, health ...

Newly arrived virus spreads in Dominican Republic

April 29, 2014
Health officials in the Dominican Republic say a mosquito-borne virus has spread widely since making its first appearance in the country.

Haiti offers treatment as virus outbreak surges

May 23, 2014
Haitian health authorities will distribute pain medication to clinics around the country amid a surge in suspected cases of a mosquito-borne virus that is new to the region, a government official said Friday.

Recommended for you

Don't hold your nose and close your mouth when you sneeze, doctors warn

January 15, 2018
Pinching your nose while clamping your mouth shut to contain a forceful sneeze isn't a good idea, warn doctors in the journal BMJ Case Reports.

New antifungal provides hope in fight against superbugs

January 12, 2018
Microscopic yeast have been wreaking havoc in hospitals around the world—creeping into catheters, ventilator tubes, and IV lines—and causing deadly invasive infection. One culprit species, Candida auris, is resistant ...

Dengue takes low and slow approach to replication

January 11, 2018
A new study reveals how dengue virus manages to reproduce itself in an infected person without triggering the body's normal defenses. Duke researchers report that dengue pulls off this hoax by co-opting a specialized structure ...

Different strains of same bacteria trigger widely varying immune responses

January 11, 2018
Genetic differences between different strains of the same pathogenic bacterial species appear to result in widely varying immune system responses, according to new research published in PLOS Pathogens.

Human protein may aid neuron invasion by virus that causes hand, foot, and mouth disease

January 11, 2018
A human protein known as prohibitin may play a significant role in infection of the nervous system by EV71, one of several viruses that can cause hand, foot, and mouth disease. Issac Too of the National University of Singapore ...

Untangling how Epstein-Barr virus infects cells

January 11, 2018
A team led by scientists at Northwestern Medicine has discovered a new epithelial receptor for Epstein-Barr virus, according to a study published recently in Nature Microbiology.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.