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Chikungunya: Boston confirms 4 cases of mosquito-borne virus

Boston public health officials have confirmed four cases of the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya in the Boston-area.

west nile virus Boston Public Health Officials are warning of four cases of the chikungunya virus. (Credit: Metro File Photo)

Boston public health officials have confirmed four cases of the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya in the Boston-area.

The viral disease is transmitted to people by mosquitoes, according to the Boston Public Health Commission, although those who have been diagnosed are believed to have contracted the virus while traveling in the Caribbean.

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Health officials said they have not discovered any mosquitos carrying the virus in the United States, but that it is possible that chikungunya will spread to mosquitoes in new areas, including the US.

A Boston health spokeswoman told WCVB that no public threat or advisory has been issued locally.

Common symptoms of chikungunya includefever, joint pain, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash, and usually last up to a week.

There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat the infection, according to the US Centers Disease Control and Prevention, though rest and hydration may help symptoms.

More than 27,000 cases have been confirmed in Haiti since the Haitian Ministry of
Public Health officially announced the chikungunya epidemic in early May.

Outbreaks have occurred in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

As of July 1, a total of 129 chikungunya cases have been reported to ArboNET from US states and territories .

Follow Morgan Rousseau on Twitter: @MetroMorgan
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