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Mosquito-borne virus spreads to Cuba

Chikungunya virus is spread through bites from mosquitoes, and not from person-to-person transmission. There is presently no treatment or vaccine.
By Ed Adamczyk Follow @adamczyk_ed Contact the Author   |   June 19, 2014 at 4:55 PM
| License Photo

HAVANA , June 19 (UPI) -- Cuban health authorities have reported six cases of the chikungunya virus, the latest to confirm cases of the mosquito-borne disease.

The Pan-American Health Organization said 4,600 confirmed cases, and 166,000 suspected cases, of the disease have been reported in the Caribbean. Like dengue fever, Chikungunya virus causes high fever, rashes and joint pain. While most patients recover with days, the joint pain can persist for months.

The virus is spread through bites from mosquitoes, and not from person-to-person transmission. There is presently no treatment or vaccine.

It has also been observed in the United States, in patients who traveled from the Caribbean area to Georgia and to North Carolina.

The Cuban health ministry said it would "strengthen surveillance and control measures of travelers arriving from countries at risk of the disease, mainly in the Caribbean." It added the cases discovered in Cuba were people who had recently traveled to Haiti or the Dominican Republic.

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