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Florida has two more local chikungunya cases

In its Aug. 16 arbovirus surveillance report released Aug. 20, the Florida Department of Health identifies two more locally acquired chikungunya illnesses in that state. The total is now six, with four of those having come from Palm Beach County. The two latest cases are a part of that four.

Map showing the geographic spread of imported and locally acquired chikungunya illnesses.

Florida also reports 171 imported, or travel-associated, chikungunya cases since the Caribbean outbreak began in Dec. 2013. Four counties have recorded the majority of the mosquito born illnesses which were contracted abroad, Broward and Miami-Dade with 30 each, Palm Beach with 28 and Orange with 18. Haiti and the Dominican Republic were the sites for 87 percent of these infections.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released its weekly report on reported chikungunya cases in the United States on Aug. 20. It is less current than report from the state of Florida.

The report reveals 636 travel-associated chikungunya cases reported from 43 states and the District of Columbia. Florida continues to lead the number of reported illnesses. New York, city and state, is second with 100 chikungunya illnesses through Aug. 19. New Jersey reports 50 cases, while Massachusetts has seen 26 and Tennessee has 25.

Internationally, the Pan American Health Organization weekly report for August 15 shows a significantly higher number of chikungunya cases in Puerto Rico than does the CDC report. The commonwealth has reported 708 cases of the illness and 2,549 suspected cases. The U.S. Virgin Islands has changed their data very little for many weeks, with 4 confirmed cases and 29 suspected.

Chikungunya is a viral illness spread by an infected mosquito from human to human. There is no cure and there is no vaccine. It was introduced into the Western Hemisphere in Dec. 2013 and has been spreading throughout the Caribbean and Latin America since that time. It is rarely fatal, but causes intense, debilitating joint pain. Symptoms may continue for months or years after the infection has disappeared.

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