VICENZA, Italy -- According to the Italian Ministry of Health, three locally acquired, laboratory-confirmed cases of chikungunya fever, with symptom onset in August 2017, have occurred 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) south of Rome in Anzio, Lazio Region.Local authorities have begun vector control efforts and advised medical providers to be on the alert for more possible cases. Local citizens are urged to seek medical care if they develop symptoms of chikungunya virus infection including high fever, joint pain and rash. The National Blood Center has halted donations from donors in the region.These cases in Italy follow an outbreak in southern France that began Aug. 11 and have resulted in six confirmed and one probable locally acquired cases as of Sept. 6.The chikungunya virus is transmitted to people by mosquitoes of the Aedes species that largely bite during daylight hours. The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash. Outbreaks have occurred in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans.There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat this virus infection. Protect yourself by preventing mosquito bites. When in areas with chikungunya virus, make sure to use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants, and stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.Italy had a previous Chikungunya outbreak in 2007 in the Emilia Romagna region; in that case, the outbreak was caused by an infected individual traveling to Italy from India.Additional information can be found at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention site at: or at the World Health Organization at