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Global Health
July 16, 2014

Chikungunya Virus Spreading in the Caribbean and South America

JAMA. 2014;312(3):222. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.8664

A major outbreak of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus, which causes fever and debilitating joint pain, is occurring in a growing number of countries and territories in the Caribbean and South America since its arrival in the Western Hemisphere in December 2013 (http://1.usa.gov/1pWoglc).

As of June, more than 100 000 cases from these regions have been reported. The areas most affected include Saint Martin, where the virus was first identified, the Dominican Republic, Martinique, Guadeloupe, and Haiti. Newly confirmed cases have been reported in the United States and numbers are expected to rise, particularly among travelers who have recently returned from areas where transmission of the virus is occurring.

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