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Imported chikungunya cases increase in United States

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Imported cases of chikungunya increased 26 percent in the last week according to the data released today by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) on the number of chikungunya cases in the United States. The total number of chikungunya illnesses through August 5 in the United States, according to the CDC, is 705. They have received reports of 480 imported, or travel associated, chikungunya and four locally acquired cases in 2014. Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands report an added 221 imported and locally acquired cases.

The 86 new imported chikungunya cases were reported primarily from three states. New York reported 72 cases and had just 44 a week ago. Massachusetts went from eight cases last week to 22 this week. Florida continued to lead the nation in travel-associated cases with nearly two dozen new illnesses in the past week.

The CDC shows that Florida has reported four locally acquired illnesses. Puerto Rico has had 201 local and 16 imported chikungunya cases. The U.S. Virgin Islands have reported two of each.

A compilation of the public health agency and media reports through today provides a total of 503 travel associated chikungunya illnesses and four locally acquired illnesses in the United States. Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands add 19 imported and 217 locally acquired. The calculated total number of cases of the viral illness in the U.S. for 2014 is 743. Nine states have not reported any chikungunya.

Florida, with its weekly arbovirus surveillance for Aug. 2, reports 137 imported and four locally acquired chikungunya cases. Two more travel associated cases have been reported by local health departments since that date. Florida now has at least 12 more imported cases than the CDC total. The Dominican Republic and Haiti are the source for 91 percent of all of Florida's travel associated illnesses.

The CDC has not reported any cases from South Carolina where state government and media reports state there have been three. Alabama and Texas each have reported four more illnesses than the CDC records.

A large number of suspected cases were reported to the Pan American Health Organization through Aug. 1 by Puerto Rico. The Caribbean commonwealth reported 232 confirmed chikungunya cases and 1,033 suspected cases.

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