• 1

    Powers AM, Brault AC, Tesh RB, Weaver SC, 2000. Re-emergence of chikungunya and o’nyong-nyong viruses: evidence for distinct geographical lineages and distant evolutionary relationships. J Gen Virol 81 :471–479.

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  • 2

    Lanciotti RS, Ludwig ML, Rwaguma EB, Lutwama JJ, Kram TM, Karabatsos N, Cropp CB, Miller BR, 1998. Emergence of epidemic O’nyong-nyong fever in Uganda after a 35-year absence: genetic characterization of the virus. Virology 252 :258–268.

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  • 3

    Kiwanuka N, Sanders EJ, Rwaguma EB, Kawamata J, Ssengooba FP, Najjemba R, Were WA, Lamunu M, Bagambisa G, Burkot TR, Dunster L, Lutwama JJ, Martin DA, Cropp CB, Karabatsos N, Lanciotti RS, Tsai TF, Campbell GL, 1999. O’nyong-nyong fever in south-central Uganda, 1996–1997: clinical features and validation of a clinical case definition for surveillance purposes. J Infect Dis 29 :1243–1250.

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O’NYONG-NYONG FEVER IN WEST AFRICA

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  • 1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Atlanta, Georgia; International Organization for Migration, Geneva, Switzerland; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, Fort Collins, Colorado

During the fall of 2003, an outbreak of a febrile illness with rash, initially reported to be measles, occurred in the Nicla Border Camp in western Côte d’Ivoire, where approximately 8,000 Liberian refugees were awaiting resettlement to the United States. To define the risk of disease transmission to people in other populations during the resettlement, we determined the cause of the outbreak. The International Organization for Migration (an international health organization contracted by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, U.S. Department of State, to perform preimmigration medical screening) administered a survey to 31 ill refugees that were easily accessible to collect epidemiologic and clinical information about the outbreak. In addition, acute-and convalescent-phase serum specimens were collected from these refugees and sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for laboratory analysis.

Among ill refugees surveyed, 28 (90%) reported fever, 26 (84%) a maculopapular rash, 27 (87%) pruritis, 22 (71%) myalgias, 18 (58%) arthralgias, and 10 (32%) reported household contacts with the same illness. Results of laboratory tests at CDC for eight (26%) of those surveyed were consistent with O’nyong-nyong virus infection (ONNV) by either serologic tests or ONNV-specific real-time polymerase chain reaction assay (TaqMan). Serologic testing for other causes of febrile rash illnesses, including measles, was negative. Because of the political situation, we were unable to investigate this outbreak more fully; thus, the total number of affected refugees or individuals in the surrounding community is unknown.

Human infections with ONNV have only been documented in eastern Africa. However, infections caused by both Igbo-Ora virus (presumed to be a strain of ONNV, based on 98.5% genomic identity with ONNV)1 and Chikungunya virus (another related alphavirus) have caused similar human disease in western Africa, including Nigeria, Senegal, and Guinea Bissau.2,3 In the current outbreak, an initial diagnosis of measles delayed the implementation of measures to stop the outbreak, such as spraying mosquito adulticide and providing bed nets. Moreover, because mosquitoes of the same genus as the known African vectors occur in North America, refugee movement was delayed until control measures were implemented and the outbreak was under control to prevent importation of disease. When outbreaks of febrile rash illnesses occur among large populations of people living in crowded conditions, laboratory confirmation is essential, and arbovirus etiologies should be considered.

*

Address correspondence to Drew L. Posey, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Atlanta, Georgia. E-mail: dposey@cdc.gov

Authors’ addresses: Drew L. Posey, Michelle Weinberg, and Susan Maloney, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, 1600 Clifton Road, NE, MS E-03 Atlanta, Georgia 30333, E-mail: dposey@cdc.gov. Thomas O’Rourke, International Organization for Migration, 17, route des Morillons, PO Box 71, CH-1211 Geneva 19, Switzerland. John T. Roehrig and Robert S. Lanciotti, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Vector-Borne Infectious Diseases, Rampart Road (CSU Foothills Campus) Fort Collins, Colorado 80521.

REFERENCES

  • 1

    Powers AM, Brault AC, Tesh RB, Weaver SC, 2000. Re-emergence of chikungunya and o’nyong-nyong viruses: evidence for distinct geographical lineages and distant evolutionary relationships. J Gen Virol 81 :471–479.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2

    Lanciotti RS, Ludwig ML, Rwaguma EB, Lutwama JJ, Kram TM, Karabatsos N, Cropp CB, Miller BR, 1998. Emergence of epidemic O’nyong-nyong fever in Uganda after a 35-year absence: genetic characterization of the virus. Virology 252 :258–268.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3

    Kiwanuka N, Sanders EJ, Rwaguma EB, Kawamata J, Ssengooba FP, Najjemba R, Were WA, Lamunu M, Bagambisa G, Burkot TR, Dunster L, Lutwama JJ, Martin DA, Cropp CB, Karabatsos N, Lanciotti RS, Tsai TF, Campbell GL, 1999. O’nyong-nyong fever in south-central Uganda, 1996–1997: clinical features and validation of a clinical case definition for surveillance purposes. J Infect Dis 29 :1243–1250.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
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