Emerging arboviruses in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil: Chikungunya and Zika outbreaks, 2014-2016.Rev Med Virol. 2017 11; 27(6)RM
The recent emergence of arboviruses such as Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) and Zika virus (ZIKV) in Brazil has posed a threat to human health and to the country's economy. Outbreaks occur mainly in tropical areas; however, increasing number of cases have been observed in Rio Grande do Sul (RS), the Southernmost state; therefore, surveillance of these arboviruses is essential for public health measures.
In this study, we analyzed 1276 samples from patients with clinically suspected arboviral diseases between 2014 and 2016. Demographic and clinical data were collected and described; cases of microcephaly associated with congenital infection were analyzed.
Results show that CHIKV and ZIKV entered RS in 2014 and 2015, respectively, with imported cases confirmed. Autochthonous infections occurred in 2016 for both viruses, with a total of 5 autochthonous cases for CHIKV and 44 for ZIKV. Most patients were older than 21 years; the main symptoms were fever, arthralgia, myalgia, and headache; rash, conjunctivitis, and pruritus were also reported in ZIKV cases. Three cases of congenital Zika syndrome were confirmed in our study, while another 20 cases of microcephaly associated with congenital infection were confirmed (10 positive for syphilis, 6 for toxoplasmosis and 4 for cytomegalovirus).
Considering co-circulation of different arbovirus in RS, including Dengue virus, CHIKV, and ZIKV, and the presence of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus in the area, surveillance of patients infected by these viruses contributes to the control and prevention of such diseases. Practical difficulties in diagnosing these infections are discussed.