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

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

July 18, 2017
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses. The antibody-based assay, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Humabs BioMed, a private biotechnology ...

'Superbugs' study reveals complex picture of E. coli bloodstream infections

July 18, 2017
The first large-scale genetic study of Escherichia coli (E. coli) cultured from patients with bloodstream infections in England showed that drug resistant 'superbugs' are not always out-competing other strains. Research by ...

Ebola virus can persist in monkeys that survived disease, even after symptoms disappear

July 17, 2017
Ebola virus infection can be detected in rhesus monkeys that survive the disease and no longer show symptoms, according to research published by Army scientists in today's online edition of the journal Nature Microbiology. ...

Mountain gorillas have herpes virus similar to that found in humans

July 13, 2017
Scientists from the University of California, Davis, have detected a herpes virus in wild mountain gorillas that is very similar to the Epstein-Barr virus in humans, according to a study published today in the journal Scientific ...

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.