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Mosquito-Borne Virus Now in U.S. Territory

A case of the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya has been reported for the first time in a U.S. territory. The virus was acquired in the U.S. Virgin Islands, health officials there said. A second patient acquired the infection elsewhere, they said. The virus mostly has been found in Africa and Asia. But it has been spreading rapidly across the Caribbean in recent months. More than 135,000 suspected and confirmed cases have been reported in the Western Hemisphere since December. This is the first case anywhere in the United States. But health officials are concerned that it will spread to the mainland soon. The 2 types of mosquitoes that spread chikungunya are also found in southern and eastern U.S. states. Symptoms of chikungunya include a high fever, headaches and severe pain in joints. The virus is rarely fatal, but symptoms can linger for months. There is no vaccine.

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