Cases of mosquito-borne chikungunya virus appearing in US

FILE- In this undated file photo provided byt he USDA, an aedes aegypti mosquito is shown on human skin. Health officials in the Dominican Republic said this Tuesday April 29, 1014, that the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus has spread widely since making its first appearance in the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control the chikungunya virus is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. These are the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue virus. They bite mostly during the daytime. (AP Photo/USDA, File)
FILE- In this undated file photo provided byt he USDA, an aedes aegypti mosquito is shown on human skin. Health officials in the Dominican Republic said this Tuesday April 29, 1014, that the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus has spread widely since making its first appearance in the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control the chikungunya virus is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. These are the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue virus. They bite mostly during the daytime. (AP Photo/USDA, File)


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A virus that has sickened tens-of-thousands of people in the Caribbean is starting to trickle into the United States. The virus — chikungunya — is spread by mosquitoes, and is notable for causing severe joint pain.

Rhode Island health officials report two confirmed cases in their state. They involve people who had traveled to the Dominican Republic, and then returned home last month. And, in Tennessee, another patient tested positive for the virus, after visiting the Caribbean. More cases are suspected, but not yet confirmed.

The chikungunya virus causes high fevers and joint pain, but it’s rarely fatal. There is no vaccine and the main treatment is pain medication.

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