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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Travel Alert: Federated States of Micronesia Due to Chikungunya

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) has reported an outbreak of chikungunya in the State of Yap. The State of Yap consists of the main island of Yap and fourteen smaller islands. Since mid-August, more than 340 suspected cases have been identified on the main island and several smaller islands.
Chikungunya is an illness caused by a virus that spreads through mosquito bites. Symptoms of chikungunya include fever, headache, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, rash, and muscle or joint pain. Symptoms usually last for a few days to a few weeks, but some people may feel tired for several weeks.
Travelers who go to Africa, Asia, and islands in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific are at risk of getting chikungunya. The mosquito that carries chikungunya can bite during the day and night, both indoors and outdoors, and often lives around buildings in urban areas.
There is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent chikungunya. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.
Prevent mosquito bites:
  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent as directed.
  • Higher percentages of active ingredient provide longer protection. Use products with the following active ingredients:
    • DEET (Products containing DEET include Off!, Cutter, Sawyer, and Ultrathon)
    • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin products containing picaridin include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan [outside the US])
    • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD (Products containing OLE include Repel and Off! Botanicals)
    • IR3535 (Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart)
  • Always follow product directions and reapply as directed:
  • If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second.
  • Follow package directions when applying repellent on children. Avoid applying repellent to their hands, eyes, and mouth.
  • Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See the product information to find out how long the protection will last.
  • If treating items yourself, follow the product instructions carefully.
  • Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself:
  • Stay and sleep in screened or air conditioned rooms.
  • Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.
If you feel sick and think you may have chikungunya:

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