Spanish chikungunya outbreak deemed 'false positive'


  • Mary Corcoran
  • Univadis Medical News
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The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) says cases of chikungunya identified in Iceland last month among people who had travelled to Spain in May were ‘false positives’. 

On June 14, Iceland had reported four cases of chikungunya virus disease associated with travel to Alicante from 17 to 31 May 2019. Three of the individuals live in Iceland and the fourth resides in Norway, but all four had travelled together.

The three individuals residing in Iceland had presented with rash, fever, joint pain and retro-orbital pain in recent weeks. Reverse transcription PCR was positive, but serology IgM and IgG were negative. Meanwhile, the case residing in Norway had reported fever and joint pain. In this case, reverse transcription PCR was negative, but the serology showed IgM positive and IgG negative results. 

The ECDC now says additional testing did not confirm the diagnosis in the previously reported cases. Further laboratory testing showed a positive result for another infectious disease for two of the cases. 

Chikungunya virus disease is circulating in the Americas, with several countries reporting cases in 2019. Cases have also been detected in Africa and Asia.