News Perspectives

Doctors Urged to Watch Out for Chikungunya

Doctors in the United States need to be on the lookout for patients with chikungunya virus, a commentary in a major medical journal says. The virus originated in Africa. It spread to the Caribbean in 2013. Cases also have become widespread in parts of Central and South America. More than 8,000 confirmed cases have been seen in the current outbreak. More than 751 cases have been reported within the United States, the commentary notes. Most had traveled to affected regions. But several cases in Florida are thought to have received the infection locally. Two species of mosquito that can spread chikungunya are found in the southeastern United States. One of them is found farther north as well. So the virus "may spread further within the United States," the authors say.

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