Acute arboviral infections in Guinea, West Africa, 2006
Acute febrile illnesses comprise the majority of the human disease burden in sub-Saharan Africa. We hypothesized that arboviruses comprised a considerable proportion of undiagnosed febrile illnesses in Guinea and sought to determine the frequency of arboviral disease in two hospitals there. Using a standard case definition, 47 suspected cases were detected in approximately 4 months. Immunoglobulin M antibody capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and plaque-reduction neutralization assays revealed that 63% (30/47) of patients were infected with arboviruses, including 11 West Nile, 2 yellow fever, 1 dengue, 8 chikungunya, and 5 Tahyna infections. Except for yellow fever, these are the first reported cases of human disease from these viruses in Guinea and the first reported cases of symptomatic Tahyna infection in Africa. These results strongly suggest that arboviruses circulate and are common causes of disease in Guinea. Improving surveillance and laboratory capacity for arbovirus diagnoses will be integral to understanding the burden posed by these agents in the region.