It’s Here: The First Cases Of The Chikungunya Virus Have Appeared In Florida

Mosquito - Photo by JJ Harrison

Chikungunya has been reported in a Florida man and woman who had not recently traveled, health officials said Thursday — the first indication that the painful virus has taken up residence in the United States.

Health experts had said it was only a matter of time before the virus, carried by mosquitoes, made its way to the U.S. It’s been spreading rapidly in the Caribbean and Central America. It’s infected 350,000 and killed 21.

There have been other U.S. cases but all have been among people who had recently traveled to affected regions.

“Seven months after the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya was recognized in the Western Hemisphere, the first locally acquired case of the disease has surfaced in the continental United States,” the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a statement.

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