Transcript for Mosquito-Transmitted Virus Reported in US
Now, to a health alert and a warning for travelers this morning. A debilitating virus, carried by mosquitos, now in the U.S. Some doctors are worried it could spread like the west nile virus did. ABC's Steve osunsami has the that story for us. Reporter: This morning, a mosquito-transmitted virus called chikungunya fever has been brought into the united States, wrought into the country affected recent travelers to the caribbean. It's been picking its way around the world. And finally landed in the caribbean. Reporter: The symptoms begin three to seven days after the mosquito bite and usually last about a week. And include fever, headache, muscle pain, rash, severe joint pain in hands and feet. Rarely is this tropical disease fatal. There's no vaccine for it. There's nothing else you can really do but avoid mosquito bites. Reporter: The CDC says there's usually only 28 cases of this virus in the U.S. This year. But so far this year, the U.S. Has already confirmed 38 imported cases. The latest, a patient in north Carolina. They do carry multiple infections that are acquirable in the United States. Even if there isn't talk of chikungunya, or malaria going on, it's important to protect yourself against mosquito bites. Reporter: The number of cases is now growing, due to travel to the caribbean islands, where more than 100,000 people have come down with the painful fever, after a bite from an infected mosquito. Every year, 9 million Americans travel to the caribbean. They're telling travelers to look out. Use bug spray and be vigilant in the hours as the sun is setting. State and federal health authorities here are downplaying the threat of this disease spreading among the mosquito population in the U.S. But say mosquito prevention is still very important because of so many other mosquito-borne illnesses.
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