Two new cases of mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus near Rome

Two new cases of mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus near Rome

Photo: AFP

Local health authorities on Friday confirmed two new cases and reported two suspected cases of the painful, mosquito-borne illness Chikungunya in the Lazio region.

Health officials in the province of Latina, south of Rome, are informing mayors in the province to enable them to take preventative measures against the Chikungunya virus including disinfections.

A special clinic and phone helpline has been set up at Latina's S.M. Goretti hospital where local doctors can refer patients they suspect of having Chikungunya, the local health authority said.

At least 17 people in southeast Rome have been diagnosed with Chikungunya since the end of August, and the local health authority on Thursday decided to suspend blood donations in affected areas of the capital to prevent accidental transmission of the disease.

Rome mayor Virginia Raggi on Wednesday signed an order for disinfestations of the capital to combat the spread of Chikungunya, which causes acute fever and joint pain.

Chikungunya rarely results in death but its effects can sometimes be disabling.

The outbreak of disease started at Anzio, a seaside port to the south of Rome, and spread to the capital, according to Italian officials.