People across the United States have been alarmed by news that some rare virus carried by mosquitoes has hit a man in Florida. This man in Florida was perhaps the first to get chikungunya in the United States reported Live Science on July 17, 2014. Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed a Florida man may be the first person in the United States to have become infected with the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya.
This virus has been circulating in the Caribbean for the past several months. It has caused thousands of infections. Other cases of this infection reported by people in the United States were acquired during travels abroad. Roger Nasci, chief of the CDC’s Arboviral Diseases Branch, says the presence of chikungunya virus, initially in the tropical Americas and now in the United States, highlights the risks associated with this and other exotic pathogens.
Roger Nasci, who is the chief of the CDC’s Arboviral Diseases Branch, has said in a statement that the CDC and Florida health officials are pursuing an investigation of how the patient contracted the virus. They are also searching for additional, locally acquired U.S. cases. This virus was confined to Africa and Asia until seven months ago when it was brought to the Western Hemisphere and appeared on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. An infected traveler probably carried the virus to St. Martin. Since than the virus spread to 23 countries prior to arriving in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that chikungunya virus is transmitted to people by mosquitoes. Fever and joint pain are the most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection. Headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, and rash also often occur with this infection. At the present time there is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat infection with chikungunya virus. Travelers in countries with chikungunya virus are advised to protect themselves as well as possible from mosquito bites. This advice should be taken seriously as investigations of this virus continue.