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Since the first documented autochthonous transmission of chikungunya virus in the Caribbean island of Saint Martin in 2013, the infection has been reported within the Caribbean region as well as North, Central and South America. The risk of autochthonous transmission of chikungunya virus becoming established in Spain may be elevated due to the large numbers of travellers returning to Spain from countries affected by the 2013 epidemic in the Caribbean and South America, as well as the existence of the vector in certain parts of Spain. We retrospectively analysed the laboratory diagnostic database of the National Centre for Microbiology, Institute of Health Carlos III (CNM-ISCIII) from 2008 to 2014. During the study period, 264 confirmed cases, of 1,371 suspected cases, were diagnosed at the CNM-ISCIII. In 2014 alone, there were 234 confirmed cases. The highest number of confirmed cases were reported from the Dominican Republic (n = 136), Venezuela (n = 30) and Haiti (n = 11). Six cases were viraemic in areas of Spain where the vector is present. This report highlights the need for integrated active case and vector surveillance in Spain and other parts of Europe where chikungunya virus may be introduced by returning travellers.


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