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Chikugunya and zika virus dissemination in the Americas: different arboviruses reflecting the same spreading routes and poor vector-control policies

Fernández-Salas, Ildefonso; Díaz-González, Esteban E.; López-Gatell, Hugo; Alpuche-Aranda, Celia

Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases: October 2016 - Volume 29 - Issue 5 - p 467–475
doi: 10.1097/QCO.0000000000000304
TROPICAL AND TRAVEL-ASSOCIATED DISEASES: Edited by Joseph M. Vinetz and Yukari C. Manabe

Purpose of review This review gathers the most recent investigations about chikungunya and zika viruses in America and would help in creating new research approaches.

Recent findings Clinical descriptions of chikungunya fever have been performed in the American outbreak observing that fever, polyarthalgia, myalgia and rash are the most common symptoms in the acute phase, while chronic arthralgia has persisted in 37–90% of small cohorts. The Asian origin of American strains of chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and zika virus (ZIKV) evidences a dissemination route in common and both are being transmitted by Aedes aegypti. Regarding zika fever, the association of congenital malformations with previous ZIKV exposure of pregnant women and potential sexual transmission of ZIKV are the most important discoveries in the New World.

Summary Massive outbreaks of chikungunya fever in 2014 and then followed by zika fever epidemics of lower magnitude in the next year throughout the American continent have their origins in Asia but may have used Pacific Islands as a path of dissemination. Reports of chronic arthralgia have been little described in the continent and more research is needed to measure the economic and health impact in patients who contracted CHIKV before. On the contrary, zika is menacing newborns’ health because of its link with congenital microcephaly and sexual health by prolonged presence of viral particles in semen and urine.

aCentro Regional de Investigación en Salud Pública, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Tapachula, Chiapas

bCentro de Investigación y Desarrollo en Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, Monterrey, Nuevo León

cFacultad de Ciencias Biológicas, Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, San Nicolás de los Garza, Nuevo León

dCentro de Investigación sobre Enfermedades Infecciosas, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico

*Ildefonso Fernández-Salas and Esteban E. Díaz-González contributed equally to this study.

Correspondence to Ildefonso Fernández-Salas, Centro Regional de Investigación en Salud Publica, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, 19 Poniente s/n entre 4 Norte y 6 Norte, Centro, Tapachula, Chiapas 30700, México. Tel: +52 962 626 2219 ext. 120; e-mail:

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