First Case of Chikungunya Virus Contracted in the U.S.

For the first time since the Chikungunya virus was found in the Caribbean seven months ago, the mosquito-borne virus is now being spread locally in Florida. Health officials in nearby Puerto Rico have already declared it an epidemic on the island.

According to a report put out by the CDC yesterday, a man in Palm Beach, Florida has acquired the virus. Unlike other Americans who have come down with Chikungunya fever, he has not recently traveled outside the country. That means that he acquired the virus from a local mosquito that bit another infected person. Also yesterday, the second known locally contracted case seems to be in a woman in Miami, Florida.

The painful virus loosely translates to ‘contorted with pain’ and can cause suffering with fever, severe joint pain, headache, nausea, rash. Although it is not usually fatal, it can be debilitating and especially dangerous for the elderly or the very young. For prevention, treatment, symptom, and history of the virus, read our 5 Facts You Need to Know about Chikungunya.

Chikungunya is only spread by two species of mosquitoes, which are mostly found in the southeastern United States. Watch the news brief above for some more information about the spread of the virus.

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