US Virgin Islands confirms 1st chikungunya case

CHARLOTTE AMALIE, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) — A mosquito-borne virus that has been spreading rapidly in the Caribbean has made its way to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Health officials in the U.S. Caribbean territory said Wednesday they have confirmed a locally transmitted case of chikungunya.

Health Commissioner Darice Plaskett says authorities are working closely with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies to "prevent the spread of the virus."

As of June 6, the Pan American Health Organization has recorded about 135,000 suspected and confirmed cases since the first locally transmitted case was confirmed in the Caribbean in December. That was in French St. Martin. Since then, the viral disease first identified in Africa has spread widely.

Chikungunya causes a high fever and severe pain in the joints. It is rarely fatal.

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