Global & Disaster Medicine

Italy’s chikungunya outbreak has expanded to a second region, and the total number of suspected or confirmed cases has climbed to 298


“…..Italy is currently experiencing four clusters of autochthonous chikungunya cases in the cities of Anzio, Latina and Rome in the Lazio region, and the city of Guardavalle Marina in the Calabria region. Autochthonous transmission of mosquito-borne infections is not unexpected in areas where Aedes albopictus mosquitoes are established and at a time when environmental conditions are favouring mosquito abundance and activity.

This is the second time that Italy is facing an outbreak of autochthonous chikungunya, following an outbreak in the Emilia-Romagna region in 2007. Within the European Union, apart from Italy, only France reported outbreaks of autochthonous cases in the past, i.e. in 2010, 2014 and 2017. Autochthonous chikungunya transmission is estimated to have started in Anzio in early-/mid-June 2017 or earlier. Subsequently, autochthonous transmission was detected in Rome and Latina, and more recently in Guardavalle Marina.

The likelihood of further spread within Italy is still moderate, with suitable but less favourable conditions for vector activity in the coming weeks. In the areas already affected, it is likely that more cases will be identified in the near future. ….”

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