According to the latest data published by the Pan American Health Organization , cases of chikungunya increased by 32% in Brazil in comparison between 2020 and 2021.
Through November 27 of this year, 127,487 total cases of the disease, caused by a virus and transmitted by the bite of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, had been registered. This compares with 96,044 reported during the same period in 2020.
The Northeast region continues to be the most affected, with an incidence of 111.7 cases per 100,000 inhabitants. But the increase of affected people in other parts of the country is also noteworthy, such as the Southeast, which reported 29.1 cases per 100,000 individuals.
In São Paulo alone, the number of people affected by chikungunya jumped from 281 in 2020 to 18.2 thousand in 2021, which represents an increase of more than 6,000%.
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain, which is often debilitating. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, and rash.
The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue and Zika, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where they are common. As there is no cure, treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms.