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Review article

Chikungunya Fever – Invading Tropical Virus in the Mediterranean Region?

Gerhard Dobler ; Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, Munich, Germany
Martin Pfeffer ; Bundeswehr Institute of Microbiology, Munich, Germany

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page 195-199

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Chikungunya fever is a virus infection caused by a virus of the genus Alphavirus, family Togaviridae. It is transmitted in nature exclusively by mosquitoes of the genus Aedes. It causes a febrile illness with prominent arthritis and incapacitating arthralgias, which may last for months. In 2004, a large outbreak started in East Africa, spread over India to Southeast Asia and caused an estimated several million human cases in the affected countries. In 2007, Chikungunya virus was introduced by a viremic traveller into Italy and there caused an outbreak with more than 200 human cases. The virus there was transmitted by the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus). Chikungunya virus in combination with Aedes albopictus forms a complex with high potential for emergence in so far unaffected regions. The actual paper reviews the current situation and presents a case definition for detection of clinically suspicious cases for rapid intervention of transmission.


Chikungunya virus, Aedes albopictus, arthritis, emerging infection

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