First Chikungunya Contracted in U.S.

A Florida man becomes the first US resident who has not recently traveled outside the country to be diagnosed with an infection from the mosquito-borne virus.

By | July 18, 2014

Aedes aegypti, one of the mosquito vectors of the Chikungunya virusWIKIMEDIA, JAMES GATHANY, PHIL, CDCThe US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported yesterday (July 17) on the first locally acquired case of chikungunya virus in the United States. A Florida man who had not partaken in any recent international travel was diagnosed with the painful infection.

The virus was first documented in the Western Hemisphere seven months ago, when infections began popping up on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. Since then, more than 100,000 suspected cases have been recorded 17 countries of the Caribbean and South America, according to the CDC. A couple hundred cases of chikungunya have emerged in the U.S., but always in association with overseas travel. “[T]he newly reported case represents the first time that mosquitoes in the continental United States are thought to have spread the virus to a non-traveler,” a CDC press release read. 

Chikungunya is rarely fatal, but the virus can cause severe joint pain, and there is no specific treatment for infection. Along with the Florida Department of Health, the federal agency is currently investigating how the Florida man contracted the virus, and will continue to monitor for additional U.S. cases. “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,” Roger Nasci, chief of CDC’s Arboviral Diseases Branch, said in the release. “This emphasizes the importance of CDC’s health security initiatives designed to maintain effective surveillance networks, diagnostic laboratories and mosquito control programs both in the United States and around the world.”

Add a Comment

Avatar of: You



Sign In with your LabX Media Group Passport to leave a comment

Not a member? Register Now!

LabX Media Group Passport Logo


Avatar of: wctopp


Posts: 110

July 18, 2014

Second case reported too, the two are unrelated and live 50-100 miles apart on the Florida east coast.  So it's almost certainly widely disseminated already, not some wayward mosquito from down south.

Popular Now

  1. That Other CRISPR Patent Dispute
    Daily News That Other CRISPR Patent Dispute

    The Broad Institute and Rockefeller University disagree over which scientists should be named as inventors on certain patents involving the gene-editing technology.

  2. How Gaining and Losing Weight Affects the Body
    Daily News How Gaining and Losing Weight Affects the Body

    Millions of measurements from 23 people who consumed extra calories every day for a month reveal changes in proteins, metabolites, and gut microbiota that accompany shifts in body mass.

  3. DOE-Sponsored Oak Ridge National Laboratory to Cut 100 More Jobs
  4. Neurons Use Virus-Like Proteins to Transmit Information