Paraguay shares its experience in managing the largest Chikungunya epidemic recorded in recent years in the Americas

5 Apr 2023

Paraguay, 5 April 2023 – Last Friday, March 31st, the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare of Paraguay, through the General Directorate of Health Surveillance, participated in a virtual webinar organized by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) to present the current epidemiological situation, as well as the clinical-epidemiological characterization of Chikungunya cases in Paraguay.

The webinar aimed to share Paraguay's experience managing the current Chikungunya outbreak, disseminate information on the clinical characterization of hospitalized Chikungunya cases, review complications documented in severe cases and communicate genomic surveillance results.

The webinar was attended by more than 500 professionals from 35 countries and was transmitted in 4 languages (Spanish, English, French and Portuguese).

During his presentation, Dr. Guillermo Sequera, General Director of Health Surveillance of Paraguay, emphasized the importance of early identification of cases which facilitates an adequate management of patients. Additionally, he mentioned that through the exchange of experiences PAHO/WHO is supporting countries in their preparation efforts.

Dr. Sylvain Aldighieri, Deputy Director of the Emergency Department from PAHO/WHO, who moderated the session, highlighted the work done by the Paraguayan authorities in the management of the outbreak and thanked the exchange of information with all the countries of the Region.” It is through this exchange of experiences that we strengthen ourselves as a Region”, said Dr. Alighieri.

Dr. Leonardo Hernandez, Chief of the Emergency Operations Unit, Dr. María Almiron, Acting Chief of the Information Management and Risk Assessment Unit, Dr.  Jairo Mendez-Rico, Advisor in Viral Diseases, Dr. Thais dos Santos, Advisor in Arbovirus Surveillance, Dr. Romeo Montoya, Advisor in Epidemiology, among other PAHO personnel also participated in the session.

Seminario Chikungunya Paraguay 2023
Sylvain Aldighieri

This webinar is part of a series of PAHO/WHO support activities to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of Paraguay, both at the local and regional office levels.

PAHO provides countries with recommendations and guidelines on surveillance, triage, diagnosis, clinical management, and timely and appropriate treatment of Chikungunya cases and other arboviruses, as well as for integrated vector control and management.

PAHO has alerted countries about the increase in cases and deaths from Chikungunya in the Epidemiological Alert published on 8 March 2023, indicating that, during 2022, the Region of the Americas registered an increase in the number of cases and deaths from Chikungunya above the number reported in previous years. Additionally, in the current season, there is an expansion of the occurrence of the disease in the Region of the Americas, beyond the historical areas of transmission reported since 2014.