At the end of 2013, chikungunya virus (CHIKV) emerged in Saint Martin Island, Caribbean. The Asian lineage was identified. Seven months after this introduction, the seroprevalence was 16.9% in the population of Saint Martin and 39.0% of infections remained asymptomatic. This moderate attack rate and the apparent limited size of the outbreak in Saint Martin could be explained by control measures involved to lower the exposure of the inhabitants. Other drivers such as climatic factors and population genetic factors should be explored. The substantial rate of asymptomatic infections recorded points to a potential source of infection that can both spread in new geographic areas and maintain an inconspicuous endemic circulation in the Americas.
© The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.