Can a chikungunya patient take a bath

Three Icelandic tourists contracted the Chikungunya virus in Spain. These are the first infections with the pathogen that have been reported in the country.

Madrid - The first case of local Chikungunya virus infection in Spain is a matter of concern for experts. There is no vaccine yet. But you don't have to cancel your summer holiday in Sonnenland.

Tiger mosquito transmits Chikungunya virus in Spain for the first time

In Spain, people in the country contracted the Chikungunya virus for the first time. In the Holiday Province of Alicante infected in the east of the country Tourists from Iceland with the mosquito-borne virus. As experts announced, these are the first cases of local infection in Spain. The victims are three members of a family that was on the Costa Blanca in May. As the responsible health authorities of the Valencia region announced at the weekend, no other cases of infection are known to date. However, all the necessary measures and controls have been initiated, it said.

The virus is mainly from the Egyptian tiger mosquito (Aedes aegypti) and the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) transmitted. According to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the virus is widespread in numerous African countries as well as in south and south-east Asia. After a rapid spread in Central and South America, it has also appeared sporadically in Europe for some years, according to ECDC for the first time in 2007 in Italy, and later also in France.

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Chikungunya virus: first infection ever in Spain

"But that's the one first case of infection in Spain ever", said a spokesman for the health authorities in Valencia of the Alicante newspaper" Información "(Saturday edition). You know because of the incubation period that the Patients on vacation on the Costa Blanca must have been stung in the second half of May, the spokesman said. After their return, the disease was diagnosed. The Icelandic authorities immediately informed both the responsible Spanish central authorities in Madrid and the regional health authorities in Valencia, it said.

Chikungunya fever goes with typical flu Symptoms such as high fever, headache and body aches. Most infected people recover completely, often after a week. The virus is more dangerous for the chronically ill as well as for pregnant women and babies. However, deaths are extremely rare. So far there is no vaccine or specific therapy.

Rogelio López-Vélez, head of the tropical diseases department at the Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid, said that the first cases in Spain were "to be expected" due to the increasing number of people traveling and transporting goods around the world "El País" newspaper. Nevertheless, they should be taken very seriously. "The Mortality rate is (with Chikungunya) not relevant, and unlike dengue hemorrhagic fever, for example, no treatment in the intensive care unit is necessary, but around half of the patients suffer from pain and stiffness (of the joints) for months, "he emphasized.

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Chikungunya virus: is vacation in Spain in danger?

The According to experts, holidays in Spain do not have to be canceled. The ECDC generally recommends that travelers protect themselves from mosquito bites, for example with repellants, long clothing and mosquito nets.

Chikungunya fever: Also known cases in Germany

In Germany there were a total of 33 cases of in 2017 Chikungunya fever, reports the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin. All were imported from vacation countries, most of them from India and Brazil. The vector mosquito Aedes albopticus can be found regionally in Germany.

Learn more about the Chikungunya virus in the video

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dpa