It’s Only a Matter of Time before Chikungunya Hits the US

June 15, 2014 1:38 AM

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It’s Only a Matter of Time before Chikungunya Hits the US

As more and more imported cases of chikungunya show up in the US, official warn it’s just a matter of time before the first case of stateside chikungunya appears. Currently all confirmed cases of the virus have been brought in by individuals who have traveled to areas where the disease is common such as the Caribbean. While it could be difficult for the disease to start to spread in the US, it’s possible. Officials say it will reach the US at some point in the future, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if there is a confirmed transmission from a mosquito to a person in the US by the end of this summer. This is because if someone returns with the disease and a mosquito feeds on that person, that mosquito can pass the disease onto others. If this happens, the disease may be able to establish a foothold here, and it could become a major health issue in the US.

The disease has swept across the Caribbean, and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified 17 different Caribbean countries which have recorded outbreaks of the disease as of June 4, 2014. There have been over 135,000 confirmed and suspected cases in the Caribbean accordi...

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