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U.S. Reports First Locally Acquired Cases Of Chikungunya; Puerto Rico Declares Epidemic

News outlets report on the first locally acquired case of chikungunya virus reported in the U.S., as Puerto Rico declares the disease epidemic.

Associated Press: Puerto Rico declares chikungunya epidemic
“Health officials in Puerto Rico on Thursday declared an epidemic of the mosquito-borne virus known as chikungunya, which was introduced into the Caribbean region late last year…” (7/17).

CQ HealthBeat: First Case of Chikungunya Virus Arrives in U.S.
“Public health officials have reported the first case in which a mosquito transmitted a type of virus that causes fever and sometimes severe joint pain to someone living in the U.S. who hasn’t traveled abroad recently…” (Reichard, 7/17).

New York Times: 2 in Florida Said to Catch Fever Found in Tropics
“Doctors have been warning that chikungunya fever, a tropical disease that causes severe joint pain, would soon reach the continental United States. Now it has done so, federal and state officials said Thursday. The first domestically acquired cases were found in two Florida residents, one from the Miami area and one from Palm Beach, according to the state’s Health Department…” (McNeil, 7/17).

Reuters: Threat rises in U.S. from mosquito-borne chikungunya virus
“The first two locally acquired cases of a painful mosquito-borne viral illness, chikungunya, have been reported in Florida, the health officials confirmed on Thursday…” (Adams, 7/17).

Scientific American: First local case of tropical disease chikungunya debuts in the U.S.
“The first locally acquired case of the tropical disease chikungunya was reported in the U.S. [on Thursday]. … So far this year, 243 cases have occurred in the U.S. but all of those stemmed from travelers returning from other countries where the virus is thriving…” (Maron, 7/17).

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