Health officials are reporting new cases of the chikungunya virus in Cuba and the United States. The debilitating virus has been spreading in the Caribbean through infected mosquitoes since December, according to the World Health Organization.
On Thursday, the Georgia Department of Public Health confirmed the state’s first case of chikungunya. Health officials say the patient was infected during a recent trip to a Caribbean nation. Recent cases have also been reported in North Carolina and Tennessee, with a total of 57 infections reported to the CDC this year, according to a CDC spokesperson.
Six chikungunya infections have also been documented in Cuba, according to a local paper, which references the Cuban Ministry of Public Health. The paper says the patients were frequent travelers to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
Close to 5,000 chikungunya cases have been confirmed in the Caribbean this year, according to the Pan American Health Organization (PDF); more than 160,000 cases are suspected. Locales with the virus include the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
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