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Chikungunya Gaining Foothold in Western Hemisphere — Physician’s First Watch

Medical News |
February 10, 2014

Chikungunya Gaining Foothold in Western Hemisphere

By Kelly Young

Chikungunya virus has infected roughly 3700 people in the eastern Caribbean since showing up on the French side of St. Martin in December 2013, the New York Times reports. It's the first time the virus has taken hold in the Western Hemisphere.

The chikungunya (pronounced chick-en-GUN-ya) virus, transmitted by mosquitoes, has been found in Martinique, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, French Guiana, Guadeloupe, St. Barthelemy, and the French and Dutch sides of St. Martin. Like dengue fever, the virus causes fever and joint and muscle pain, but chikungunya is rarely fatal.

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