Poster, IBS 2015 - 7th International Conference of the International Biogeography Society, University of Bayreuth: 2015-01-08 - 2015-01-12
Until recently epidemic outbreaks of Chikungunya, a viral disease transmitted by mosquitoes, were geographically restricted to Southeast Asia, India and Africa. This changed in December 2013, when the first case of autochthonous (local) transmission on the Caribbean Island of St. Martin was reported. In the following months, a rapid spread across the Caribbean was observed, accompanied by cases on the Central‐ and South American Mainland. From continental Europe, sporadic cases of autochthonous transmission have been reported since 2007. Given the pervasive presence of the Asian Tiger Mosquito Aedes albopictus (a competent vector for Chikungunya) in southern Europe, increased influx of potentially infected travelers as observed by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) poses a serious threat to public health. Here we aim to identify European risk zones for Chikungunya, utilizing the current and potential future climatic suitability for the vector, flight patterns of travelers from affected regions, and other environmental parameters that affect potential disease spread.