The Italian Istituto Superiore di Sanità (ISS) (in Italian) has reported 3 cases of chikungunya in Anzio, a popular seaside town 50km south of Rome. All of the cases became unwell in August. None of them reported a history of recent travel and the infection is believed to have been acquired locally.
Advice for Travellers
No vaccine is available against Chikungunya. Mosquito bite avoidance is the only method of reducing the risk of infection.
All travellers to endemic regions should be aware of the risk of CHIKV infection and be advised to practise strict bite avoidance measures, see Mosquito Bite Avoidance.
Aedes mosquitoes are particularly persistent and aggressive and bite primarily during the day.
Methods of bite avoidance include:
- Wearing long, loose, lightly coloured clothing to cover up the skin during the day.
- The use of insect repellant containing DEET applied to any exposed skin.
- When sunscreen and DEET are used together, DEET should be applied after sunscreen. The effectiveness of repellant reduces more rapidly than sunscreen, therefore, repellent may have to be reapplied on top of sunscreen.
- The use of permethrin-impregnated mosquito nets protects against early morning bites and should also be used when sleeping during the day.
- The use of air conditioning if available and/or mesh screening of windows and doors.
- Eradication of mosquito breeding sites around accommodation/home (e.g. open containers, old tyres or flower pots that may collect water)
For further information see Chikungunya.