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Title: Pan-European Chikungunya surveillance: Designing risk stratified surveillance zones
Authors: Tilston, N
Skelly, C
Weinstein, P
Issue Date: 2009
Publisher: BioMed Central
Citation: International Journal of Health Geographics 8:61, Oct 2009
Abstract: The first documented transmission of Chikungunya within Europe took place in Italy during the summer of 2007. Chikungunya, a viral infection affecting millions of people across Africa and Asia, can be debilitating and no prophylactic treatment exists. Although imported cases are reported frequently across Europe, 2007 was the first confirmed European outbreak and available evidence suggests that Aedes albopictus was the vector responsible and the index case was a visitor from India. This paper proposed pan-European surveillance zones for Chikungunya, based on the climatic conditions necessary for vector activity and viral transmission. Pan-European surveillance provides the best hope for an early-warning of outbreaks, because national boundaries do not play a role in defining the risk of this new vector borne disease threat. A review of climates, where Chikungunya has been active, was used to inform the delineation of three pan-European surveillance zones. These vary in size each month across the June-September period of greatest risk. The zones stretch across southern Europe from Portugal to Turkey. Although the focus of this study was to define the geography of potential surveillance zones based on the climatic limits on the vector and virus, a preliminary examination of inward bound airline passengers was also undertaken. This indicated that France and Italy are likely to be at greater risk due to the number of visitors they receive from Chikungunya active regions, principally viraemic visitors from India. Therefore this study represents a first attempt at creating risk stratified surveillance zones, which we believe could be usefully refined with the use of higher resolution climate data and more complete air travel data.
Description: This article has been made available through the Brunel Open Access Publishing Fund - Copyright @ 2009 Tilston et al
ISSN: 1476-072X
Appears in Collections:Institute for the Environment

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