81 Cases of Mosquito Virus Chikungunya Now Tallied in Florida

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    TK
    AP
    In this undated file photo provided by the USDA, an aedes aegypti mosquito is shown on human skin. Guyana is reporting at least 12 more cases of the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya that causes severe joint pain and fever for many of its victims. Health Minister Bheri Ramsarran said late Wednesday, June 4, 2014 that the infections occurred near the border with Suriname and about 20 miles from where the first two cases were documented last week. According to the Centers for Disease Control the chikungunya virus is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue virus.

    State officials say the number of Florida travelers who contracted the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus has risen to 81.
     
    Florida's Department of Health says 15 new cases of the virus were reported last week. Officials say all the patients documented in Florida contracted the virus while traveling in the Caribbean.

      Chikungunya is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It was documented in 40 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe before it was first confirmed in the Caribbean late last year.
     
    Symptoms typically begin three to seven days after being bitten and include fever and severe joint pain, often in the hands and feet. There is no vaccine, but it rarely kills those infected.
     
    People infected with chikungunya are urged to avoid mosquito bites to prevent transmitting the virus.

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