Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Health & Fitness
  3. Healthcare

First confirmed case of chikungunya in America

See also

We've heard the warnings about West Nile virus, but you may not have heard as much about the mosquito born disease chikungunya. That's because it hasn't been in the U. S., at least until now.

Thursday the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has said that the first case of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus in the US has been confirmed in a person in Florida.

It's in a man who apparently had not traveled out of the country recently, and it's not clear how he became infected.

"The arrival of chikungunya virus, first in the tropical Americas and now in the U.S. underscores the risks posed by this and other exotic pathogens," said Roger Nasci, the head of CDC's Arboviral Diseases Branch.

There have been cases in several U.S. states and territories, but until Thursday all those cases involved people who had traveled abroad to one of the affected areas. In Puerto Rico, authorities Thursday declared a chikungunya epidemic on the island, given the rapid spread of the virus which, so far, has been confirmed in 206 people.

The virus, which produces symptoms similar to those of dengue, is transmitted by the aedes aegypti mosquito.

The CDC says, 243 cases have been registered in 31 US states and territories among people who have traveled abroad so far this year, compared with an average of 28 cases per year registered since 2006.

There is no vaccine and no treatment for the chikungunya virus. The symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache and aching joints, nausea and skin rash, all of which generally appear between three and seven days after a victim is bitten by a carrier mosquito and can last for up to three months.

Fortunately the disease is rarely fatal.

Advertisement

Life

  • Randy Travis
    Randy Travis returns with 'Influence Vol. 2: The Man I Am' in August
    Today's Buzz
  • Alternative medicine
    Alternative medicine: Remedies to make the bugs in your body go away for good
    Camera
    7 Photos
  • Beach body
    Fitness: Earn your beach body badge with bootcamp classes
    Camera
    10 Photos
  • Back to school
    These 10 items are sure winners on your back-to-school shopping trip
    Camera
    12 Photos
  • Izabel Goulart
    Izabel Goulart walks the runway with Studio F at Colombia Moda
    Camera
    19 Photos
  • Ombre' technique
    Go for the gusto: What ombre' technique are you?
    Camera
    5 Photos