US gets first local case of mosquito-borne chikungunya

A Florida man who has not recently traveled outside the country is the first person in the United States to get the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus locally, officials said Thursday.

The viral infection causes fever and , which can be severe, as well as headache, , joint swelling and a rash, experts say.

Until now, the United States has only recorded cases of people coming back into the country with the virus after getting bitten while traveling, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

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

The virus, pronounced chik-un-GUHN-ya, was first recognized in the Western Hemisphere seven months ago, and with cases mounting in the Caribbean, experts have warned it was only a matter of time before it made its way into the United States.

"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is working closely with the Florida Department of Health to investigate how the patient contracted the virus," said the health agency.

Authorities will "also monitor for additional locally acquired US cases in the coming weeks and months," it said in a statement.

The CDC did not release any further details about the Florida man.

There is no vaccine to prevent it and no medicine to treat it. However, the CDC says chikungunya is not often fatal and people usually recover within a week.

Symptoms are similar to dengue fever. Once a person is infected, he or she is likely to be protected against it in the future.

Since 2006, the United States has averaged 28 imported cases of chikungunya annually among people returning from countries in Asia, Africa, Europe, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Chikungunya virus spreads to Peru

Jun 24, 2014

Peru on Monday reported its first cases of the chikungunya virus, in two people who recently traveled to the Dominican Republic, authorities said.

Video: Expert on threat of chikungunya virus

Jul 14, 2014

With a handful of New Englanders having recently contracted the mosquito-borne disease called chikungunya, should Massachusetts residents be worried about catching it?

Recommended for you

Restrictions lifted at British bird flu farm

10 hours ago

Britain on Sunday lifted all restrictions at a duck farm in northern England after last month's outbreak of H5N8 bird flu, the same strain seen in recent cases across Europe.

Recorded Ebola deaths top 7,000

Dec 20, 2014

The worst Ebola outbreak on record has now killed more than 7,000 people, with many of the latest deaths reported in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization said as United Nations Secretary-General Ban ...

Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears (Update)

Dec 20, 2014

Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate election that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.

Evidence-based recs issued for systemic care in psoriasis

Dec 19, 2014

(HealthDay)—For appropriately selected patients with psoriasis, combining biologics with other systemic treatments, including phototherapy, oral medications, or other biologic, may result in greater efficacy ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.