Aside from the reports of incomplete infrastructure, citizen protests and lengthy travel times between cities, one of the major warnings against international travelers going to Brazil for this year’s World Cup was the presence of the Chikungunya virus in that nation.
According to RT, the Chikungunya virus has since spread throughout at least six U.S. states. There have been at least 25 reported cases of the virus in Florida, as well as diagnoses made in North Carolina, Nebraska, Indiana, Rhode Island and, most recently, Tennessee.
The virus is transmitted from mosquitos to humans. It is characterized by its malaria-esque symptoms of fever, headache, vomiting and severe joint pain. The virus has been deemed a major threat by health officials around the world, as there is currently no vaccine to prevent it. Although the virus has rarely been shown to lead to death, painful symptoms can persist for several years.
The World Health Organization page for the virus states that chikungunya was first documented in 1952 but has become a much larger threat in recent years.
“Since 2004, chikungunya fever has reached epidemic proportions, with considerable morbidity and suffering,” the page reads.
Much of the treatment for chikunguya is currently focused on easing the associated pains and ensuring that symptoms do not last a long time or become a more severe threat.
Although the CDC issued warnings to those traveling to Brazil regarding a potential “catastrophic” outbreak of the virus, there have yet to be any recorded cases of visitors falling ill with chikungunya fever.