Via CIDRAP, a long report by Robert Roos and Lisa Schnirring: Reports profile Caribbean chikungunya threat to Europe. Excerpt:
In a Eurosurveillance editorial, two experts from France and Spain list factors that increase the threat of chikungunya outbreaks in Europe.
One is that A albopictus is probably a competent transmitter of chikungunya in the Caribbean (though the question is not yet settled), they wrote. Local A albopictus mosquitoes fueled a 250-case outbreak in Italy in 2007, and mosquitoes are active in Europe now, they noted.
"The odds of controlling CHIKV [chikungunya virus] dissemination to Europe will become lower if, as expected, CHIKV spreads during the summer to continental South America," the editorial says. "Indeed, it is plausible that the long feared epidemic in South America will be ongoing for months and maybe years, continuously fuelling the flow of imported cases."
Other points the commentators make:
• Lab capacity in Europe for detecting chikungunya is limited and needs to be increased.
• Chikungunya poses a threat to blood safety in Europe, and blood donations by travelers returning from affected areas should be temporarily deferred.