A study of the 2006 Chikungunya epidemic outbreak in Mauritius

  • S K Ramchurn
  • S S Goorah
  • D Mungla
  • B Ramsurrun
  • V Pydiah
  • A Summun


Chikungunya epidemic outbreaks have affected more than 1 million people in 2005-2006 in many Indian Ocean islands and in India. Mauritius experienced a major outbreak in February/March 2006 following a minor outbreak in April/May 2005. No cases have been registered on the island since August 2006. The objectives of this study were to understand the timing and development of the 2006- outbreak in Mauritius, to investigate the possibility of a future outbreak, and to propose measures to prevent the recurrence of an epidemic in Mauritius. Mauritius rainfall, temperature and humidity data were analyzed. A door-to-door household census-type survey was carried out in a study locality on the island. A compartmental humanmosquito interaction model was integrated to understand outbreak evolutions in the surveyed locality and in a theoretical locality. It was observed that the onset of the 2006-outbreak in February followed an abnormally high rainfall in the third week of January 2006. 51% of the surveyed population was found to be suspected Chikungunya cases. Computer simulations indicated that a small number of infected humans and mosquitoes existed in the surveyed locality at the outbreak onset. From simulations in the theoretical locality, it was deduced that the level of infectivity in some localities may be below a herd immunity threshold and that the additional percentage of infected inhabitants in a follow-up epidemic would be significantly reduced with the case-reactive control of infected adult mosquitoes.

Keywords: Chikungunya, Modeling, Herd Immunity, Epidemic Control.

Internet Journal of Medical Update Vol. 3 (1) 2008: pp. 11-21

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eISSN: 1694-0423