The Toughest Disease to Spell Continues Spreading

Chickungunya is a vaccine preventable disease in 2024
ECDC chikungunya case map March 2024
(Precision Vaccinations News)

As the Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) continues to cause outbreaks in 2024, many people ask where this disease is prevalent. This mosquito-transmitted disease generally impacts people in the tropics and sub-tropics.

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), approximately 70,000 CHIKV cases and 15 deaths have been reported worldwide. 

The likelihood of local transmission events of Chikungunya in mainland EU/EEA is moderate, as no cases were reported in 2023.

The likelihood of chikungunya outbreaks in mainland EU/EEA is linked to the importation of the virus by travelers visiting certain countries.

As of March 2024, the ECDC confirmed that sixteen countries have reported CHIKV cases this year. Most countries reporting a high chikungunya burden are in the Region of the Americas.

Brazil (71,487) and Paraguay (2.760) are the countries reporting the highest number of cases.

In Asia, CHIKV outbreaks in 2024 have been reported from Timor Leste (195) and Thailand (139).

Beginning in 2014, chikungunya virus disease cases were reported among U.S. travelers returning from affected areas in the Americas. Local transmission was identified in Florida, Texas, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In 2022, there were 81 travel-related CHIKV cases reported in the U.S.

From a prevention perspective, the U.S. Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices approved recommendations for the use of Valneva SE's IXCHIQ® Chikungunya Vaccine, Live (VLA1553), a monovalent, single-dose vaccine for adults in February 2024.

IXCHIQ is the first CHIKV vaccine approved by the U.S. FDA.

Juan Carlos Jaramillo, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Valneva, commented in a press release, "Chikungunya poses a significant risk to individuals journeying to or residing in regions where the chikungunya virus and its mosquito vectors thrive. We embrace the ACIP endorsement, marking IXCHIQ® as the only approved and recommended vaccine for the target population."

"We will continue collaborating with regulatory authorities worldwide to increase the accessibility of IXCHIQ® across regions."

And for spelling-challenged people like me, try saying the word CHIK-ən-GUN-yə.

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