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| Last Updated:: 23/02/2012

Chikungunya out break in Italy

Chikungunya outbreak in Italy has caused over 197 cases till date. The health authorities in Italy are put on their toes by rising number of suspected cases. Activities are continued to eliminate mosquitoes with pyrethroids and larvicide products targeting public sites as well as the households of suspected and confirmed cases within a radius of 100 metres. Public health authorities have initiated control measures including fogging to control vector populations around the city of Ravenna, the main focus of outbreak.

Ravenna located on eastern Adriatic Italian coast, north of Rimini and San Marino and on a level with Bologna, faced first outbreak of Chikungunya in September this year. It is suspected that Irish holidaymakers would have travelled or stayed in the area during the exposure interval of July-August 2007 and may have been exposed to local mosquitoes. Though the vector population was very much present in Italy yet no such incidence was reported in the past. Professor Antonio Cassone, Head of Infectious Diseases at the National Institute for Health quoted “We have about 160 confirmed cases of Chikungunya in the Ravenna region" in northern Italy "and about 30 in neighbouring villages". A report from Italy's ANSA news agency indicated role of the person who had travelled in India, visited friends in the region without realising he was infected from Chikungunya and mosquitoes had spread it further. Professor Antoine Flahault, coordinator of French research on Chikungunya, pointed out that the Italian outbreak of Chikungunya, a mosquito- borne crippling disease was a "world first" outside the tropics. This warrants a look into role of global warming in this transmission.