More Cases of Chikungunya Virus Reported Across U.S.; No Treatment, No Vaccine
More cases of chikungunya, a painful virus, are being reported across the U.S.
New York Daily News reports that the total cases of the virus currently reported across 35 states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands stands at 537.
The outbreak started late last year in the Caribbean. The first two locally transmitted cases in the U.S. were reported in Florida.
The virus is spread by mosquitoes, and no vaccine or treatment exists to counter the virus’s effects.
Although it seldom kills its victims, those infected often come down with a fever and significant joint pain. Victims generally heal in about a week.
“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,” said Roger Nasci, a mosquito expert at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Joel Peralta, who recently spent time in the Dominican Republic, where the disease is active, has been placed on the 15-day disabled list after contracting what he believes is the virus.
New York has reported the second-highest number of cases: 30. Yesterday, North Carolina reported its tenth case of the virus.
The disease, which was discovered in Africa 60 years ago, cannot spread from human to human.