Chikungunya Virus: Fact Sheet and Advice for Travellers

Published in the Sunday Times of 5 March 2006.

Most South Africans are not at risk of catching the chikungunya virus that has infected tens of thousands of Indian Ocean Island inhabitants.

Health Department spokesman Solly Mabotha said: "The type of mosquito that is carrying this virus is scarce in South Africa. The only threat is to South Africans who are exposed outside the country."

He said the department had not been notified of any cases of chikungunya among South Africans. "We are warning travellers to the islands to take precautionary measures", he said.

Mabotha also appealed to doctors to be on the alert for infections and to notify the department of any cases in the country.

The World Health Organisation estimates that as many as 157 000 people have been infected in Reunion since March last year, although doctors have only officially reported 2 406 cases.

The disease is seldom fatal, except for those with weak immunity such as newborn babies or elderly people.

To add value and improve consular services to the public, this consular site is constantly under construction. For consular related services, information and enquiries you are not able to find on this site, please contact the Chief Directorate Consular Services or the Webmaster.

Last updated: 31 July 2006
Disclaimer | Contact Us | HomeLast Updated: 19 November, 2008 9:04 AM
This site is best viewed using 800 x 600 resolution with Internet Explorer 5.0, Netscape Communicator 4.5 or higher.
2003 Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of South Africa