JOURNAL ARTICLE

[First case of chikungunya diagnosed in the Netherlands]

R J Hassing, M W Heijstek, Y van Beek, G J J van Doornum, D Overbosch
Nederlands Tijdschrift Voor Geneeskunde 2008 January 12, 152 (2): 101-3
18265801
A 52-year-old man was seen in the Diagnostic Centre for Tropical Diseases of the Havenziekenhuis, Rotterdam, presenting with arthralgia, fever and exanthema following a stay in Mauritius. Infection with the Dengue virus infection is a common diagnosis for this combination of complaints, but nowadays chikungunya should also be considered. This is particularly the case when a patient has visited a country in or around the Indian Ocean. Risk areas are La Réunion and Mauritius, where, in February 2005 and April 2005 respectively, epidemics broke out. Chikungunya is a viral infection. The causative virus is an Alpha virus, transmitted by mosquitoes. The symptoms include arthralgia, myalgia, diffuse maculopapular rash, fever and headache. In contrast to dengue, chikungunya is not associated with haemorrhagic diathesis. Treatment takes place in response to the symptoms, since there is no targeted therapy available. The main preventive measure is to prevent mosquito bites. The disease is not deadly and healing is spontaneous. To our knowledge this is the first case of chikungunya diagnosed in the Netherlands during this epidemic. The disease has recently been reported in Italy, where native mosquitoes transmit it.

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