Further to Current note 51/3703 (at http://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/ewr/redirect.aspx?id=75659), the World Health Organisation (WHO) reported that as of 26 September 2017, there are 183 cases of chikungunya notified to the Lazio Region of Italy, which includes the coastal areas of Anzio and Latina as well as the city of Rome. Of the notified cases, 109 are confirmed and 74 additional cases are being investigated (all with an epidemiological link to the Lazio Region). Three more confirmed cases have also been notified from other areas with a travel history to Anzio.
As part of the public health response, the following measures have been implemented:
- As of 26 September, disinfestation and vector control measures in the Anzio and Rome areas;
- communication to the population about chikungunya and information on protection against mosquito bites;
- measures to prevent transmission through blood transfusion; and
- information and guidelines for health care practitioners to manage patients.
A public statement regarding the outbreak was issued on 8 September 2017 by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità (http://www.iss.it/mipi/?lang=1&id=261&tipo=1 – in Italian).
On 28 September 2017 the Ministry of Health issued new recommendations to strengthen surveillance and control activities at national level, including disinfestation at ports and airports (http://www.salute.gov.it/portale/news/p3_2_1_1_1.jsp?lingua=italiano&menu=notizie&p=dalministero&id=3099 – in Italian).
WHO advises there is a risk of further transmission of chikungunya due to:
- Aedes albopictus being established throughout the Mediterranean basin;
- this vector having demonstrated the capacity to sustain outbreaks of chikungunya in the past; and
- the area of the current case being highly populated and touristic particularly in summer months.
[Source: WHO Regional Office for Europe News, 29 September 2017. http://www.who.int/csr/don/29-september-2017-chikungunya-italy/en/]
Further information on chikungunya is available for clinicians on TRAVAX at http://www.travax.nhs.uk/diseases/non-vaccine-preventable/chikungunya.aspx and for the general public at http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/advice/disease-prevention-advice/chikungunya-fever.aspx.