Chikungunya in SamoaUpdated February 20, 2015
Updated: February 18, 2015
What is the current situation?
For the first time, locally transmitted cases of chikungunya have been reported in Samoa. Local transmission means that mosquitoes in the area have been infected with chikungunya and are spreading it to people. According to the Ministry of Health of Samoa, more than 4,400 cases have been reported as of January 11, 2015. Although, there are still new cases being reported, chikungunya in Samoa is reported to be on the decline.
CDC recommends that travelers to Samoa(http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/samoa) protect themselves from mosquito bites. Some travelers may be more likely to get chikungunya, have severe disease, or be at higher risk for other reasons. CDC advises travelers in high-risk groups to discuss their travel plans with their health care provider. These groups include the following:
- People who have arthritis
- People with serious underlying medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease, or diabetes)
- People older than 65
- Women who are late in their pregnancies, because of the risk to babies born at the time their mother is sick
- Long-term travelers, including missionaries and humanitarian aid workers and people visiting friends and relatives
- People who might have difficulty avoiding mosquito bites, such as those planning to spend a lot of time outdoors or staying in rooms without window screens or air conditioning.
What can travelers do to prevent chikungunya?
Learn more about chikungunya(http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/diseases/chikungunya).
No vaccine or medicine can prevent chikungunya. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.
Prevent mosquito bites:
- Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
- Use an insect repellent as directed.
- Higher percentages of active ingredient provide longer protection. Use products with the following active ingredients:
- DEET (products containing DEET include Off!, Cutter, Sawyer, and Ultrathon)
- Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin; products containing picaridin include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan [outside the United States])
- Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD (products containing OLE include Repel and Off! Botanicals)
- IR3535 (products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart)
- Always follow product directions and reapply as directed:
- If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
- Follow package directions when applying repellent on children. Avoid applying repellent to their hands, eyes, and mouth.
- Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See the product information to find out how long the protection will last.
- If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully.
- Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
- Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). You can buy pretreated clothing and gear or treat them yourself:
- Stay and sleep in screened or air conditioned rooms.
- Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.
If you feel sick and think you may have chikungunya:
- Talk to your doctor or nurse if you feel seriously ill, especially if you have a fever.
- Tell them about your travel.
- For more information about medical care abroad, see Getting Health Care Abroad(http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/getting-health-care-abroad).
- Avoid Bug Bites(http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/avoid-bug-bites) – Information for travelers
- Chikungunya Fact Sheet
- CDC Chikungunya website
- CDC responds to Chikungunya in the Americas
- Insect Repellent Use and Safety
- Prevent Chikungunya on a Mission Trip (http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/pdf/chikungunya-mission.pdf)
- Travel Notices:
- Travel Notice: Chikungunya in the Caribbean(http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/chikungunya-saint-martin)
- Travel Notice: Chikungunya in Central America(http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/chikungunya-central-america)
- Travel Notice: Chikungunya in South America(http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/chikungunya-south-america)
- Travel Notice: Chikungunya in American Samoa(http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/watch/chikungunya-american-samoa)
- Chikungunya(http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2012/chapter-3-infectious-diseases-related-to-travel/chikungunya.htm) in CDC Health Information for International Travel -“Yellow Book”
- Chikungunya Fact Sheet for Clinicians
- CDC Chikungunya website
- Laboratory Guidance
- Protection against Mosquitoes, Ticks, & Other Insects & Arthropods(http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2012/chapter-2-the-pre-travel-consultation/protection-against-mosquitoes-ticks-and-other-insects-and-arthropods.htm)