Alert: Severe cases and deaths associated with Chikungunya in Brazil

2017-09-01T02:44:21Z (GMT) by Carlos Alexandre Antunes de Brito
<div><p>Abstract Since the detection of the Chikungunya virus in America in 2013, two million cases of the disease have been notified worldwide. Severe cases and deaths related to Chikungunya have been reported in India and Reunion Island, estimated at 1 death per 1,000 inhabitants. Joint involvement in the acute and chronic phase is the main clinical manifestation associated with Chikungunya. The severity of the infection may be directly attributable to viral action or indirectly, owing to decompensation of preexisting comorbidities. In Brazil, the virus was identified in 2014, and recently, there has been a significant increase in the number of deaths caused by the Chikungunya virus infection, especially in Pernambuco. However, the numbers of fatalities are probably underreported, since for many cases, the diagnosis of Chikungunya infection may not be considered, for deaths by indirect causes. An increase in the mortality rate within months of epidemic occurrence, compared to previous years has also been reported and may be associated with Chikungunya virus infection. An in-depth investigation of reported mortality in Brazil is necessary, to measure the actual impact of the deaths, thereby, allowing the identification of possible causes. This will alert professionals about the risks, and hence, enable creation of protocols that target reducing mortality.</p></div>