Three tourists confirmed with chikungunya after Alicante holiday
Health chiefs in Spain have confirmed three tourists who holidayed in Alicante became ill with the chikungunya virus, a disease transmitted by the bite of an infected tiger mosquito.
All three came from the same family from Iceland and were in the resort from May 17th to 31st.
A 37-year-old woman became ill on June 1st and was diagnosed seven days later. She went to the emergency centre of a hospital in Reykjavik and proved positive for chikungunya but negative for the more serious zika and dengue.
One of her sisters and her five-old son had the same symptoms and were confirmed as positive cases of chikun-gunya which can cause fever, chills, joint pain and swelling, headache, muscle pain and a rash.
Tests carried out on a fourth member of the family, another sister from Norway, have not yet proved conclusive
The health department says that to date, there is no record of any other case of chikun-gunya in Valencia although the Ministry has “activated all the protocols and has taken the appropriate measures neces-sary to confirm any other outbreaks.”
The entomological survei-llance team of the University of Valencia is in Alicante to carry out inspections and take samples.
In addition, the Centre for Public Health is liaising with Alicante city council to review the cases and look at other instances of people who contracted fever with an unknown origin.
It is understood the family from Iceland were staying in a rented cottage in Alicante and this has been the focus of the investigation. Health chiefs are confident Alicante was the source due to the incubation period before physical signs begin to show.
The mosquito of the genus Aedes was identified for the first time in Spain in 2004 in San Cugat del Vallés and is currently located in the coastal area of Catalonia, as well as a large part of the Valencia and in other autonomous commu-nities.
These mosquitoes are usually found around the houses, act during the day, with more activity two hours after sunrise and several hours before sunset. To avoid bites, it is recommended to install mosquito.nets, wear long sleeves and trousers tight at the ankles, as well as a specific repellent..
The European Union has a Early Warning and Response System to ensure a rapid and effective response to events related to communicable diseases.