CDC confirms first chikungunya infection to be acquired in mainland United States

July 21, 2014

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported last week the first locally acquired case of the mosquito-borne viral disease chikungunya. The case, in Florida, represents the first time that mosquitoes in the continental United States are thought to have spread the virus to a non-traveler. Although CDC does not expect widespread cases of chikungunya in the United States this summer, American travelers infected overseas may continue to return and bring the virus with them.

Amid unconfirmed news reports of two more locally acquired cases in the Sunshine State, CDC is currently working with the Florida Department of Health to assess whether there are in fact additional cases. The agency is also providing consultation on ways to prevent further spread of the virus by controlling mosquitoes and educating people about personal and household protection measures to avoid mosquito bites.

The Chikungunya virus is transmitted to people by two species of mosquitoes, Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Both species are found in the southeastern United States and limited parts of the Southwest; Aedes albopictus is also found further north up the East Coast, through the Mid-Atlantic States, and also in the lower Midwest. People infected with chikungunya virus typically develop fever and joint pain. Other symptoms can include muscle aches, headaches, joint swelling, or rash. This virus is not spread person to person. There is no vaccine and no specific treatment for infection. Learn more about chikungunya in the United States from the CDC.

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