Epidemiologic Characteristics of Imported and Domestic Chikungunya Cases in Taiwan: A 13-Year Retrospective Study
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Chikungunya fever is caused by the chikungunya virus. Numerous factors affect the risk of chikungunya transmission. This study explored the epidemiological characteristics, differences, and trends in domestic and imported cases of chikungunya fever in Taiwan in terms of patient sex, age, month of confirmation, and area of residence from 2007 to 2019. Methods: Public annual chikungunya data from Taiwan's Centers for Disease Control (CDC) were analyzed. In total, 21 confirmed domestic and 198
... omestic and 198 imported cases of chikungunya were reported. Of the domestic cases, one was sporadic and reported in July 2019, and 20 were attributed to a cluster event during August and September 2019. Results: In a comparison between domestic and imported cases reported from July to October 2019, differences in sex were nonsignificant (p = 0.555), whereas significant differences were observed for age (p < 0.001), month of confirmation (p = 0.005), and place of residence (p = 0.001). An age of 69–69 years (odds ratio (OR) = 6.66, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) = 2.15–20.65), month of confirmation of September (OR = 5.25, 95%CI = 1.89–14.61) and place of residence of New Taipei City (OR = 48.70, 95%CI = 6.17–384.44) were identified as potential risk factors. Additionally, domestic cases in August and September 2019 increased in proportion to the increase in imported cases during July and August 2019. Increased domestic patients may have been caused by the domestic mosquitoes that transmitted the virus by biting the imported patients to Taiwan. This is the first report comparing domestic and imported cases of chikungunya from surveillance data from the Taiwan CDC from 2007 to 2019. Conclusion: This study highlights the importance of longitudinal and geographically extended studies to understand the implications of zoonotic disease transmission on Taiwan's population. Critical data were identified to inform future surveillance and research efforts in Taiwan.