Chikungunya Virus Cases Continue to Rise

FAIRFAX, Va. (December 4, 2014) – Though mosquito prevention falls from the forefront of most people's minds as colder weather moves in across the U.S., these pests are still spreading disease. According to the CDC, in Puerto Rico there have been 10,000 reported cases of the painful, mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus since the first case occurred there in May 2014. Additionally, there have been 11 locally-acquired cases of the virus in Florida.

The virus causes severe joint and muscle pain and can result in arthritis-like joint pain that lasts for months. Chikungunya has sickened more than 776,000 people worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. More than 1,100 cases have been brought in to the U.S. by travelers.

It is not expected for Chikungunya to become as common in the continental U.S. as in tropical areas, but all those traveling this winter to warmer regions should be sure to take the proper precautions to avoid mosquito bites in locations where Chikungunya is prevalent.