More states report cases of mosquito-born chikungunya virus
Chikungunya has rapidly spread in the Caribbean in recent months, sending thousands of patients to hospitals with painful joints, pounding headaches and spiking fevers.
The cases in the continental United States have not been transmitted by local mosquitoes, which would raise the threat.
Symptoms surface within three to seven days after a bite from an infected mosquito and typically dissipate within a week. There is no vaccine, and the virus is not deadly. Medications can help treat high fevers.
The Caribbean Public Health Agency said this week the number of confirmed and suspected cases had risen to 135,651, up from just over 100,000 on June 2. The virus has been detected in 20 countries and territories, with the largest outbreak of suspected cases in theDominican Republic.
Health officials in the Dominican Republic said they detected more than 77,000 suspected cases since the virus reached the country five and half months ago, including 20,000 new suspected cases in the last week alone, according to the Public Health Ministry.
World Health Organization representatives in Haiti said chikungunya will continue to spread as mosquitoes breed in standing water and in the open containers used in many Haitian homes that lack running water.