NIAID health officials warn of possible U.S. chikungunya threat

An article from Vaccine News Daily
July 21, 2014
Health officials from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) recently issued a warning about the potential for the emergence of the chikungunya virus in the U.S.
In a commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci and David Morens, a senior adviser at NIAID, said the virus could become firmly established in the West, citing a growing number of cases in the Americas, according to a NIAID press release.
Chikungunya, a mosquito-borne illness first identified in 1952 in what is now Tanzania, causes fever, muscle and joint pain, lymphopenia and a rash. The disease is especially dangerous to babies and the elderly.
The virus was detected in the Caribbean late last year and has infected at least 355,000 people in more than 20 countries across the Americas. This year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 232 cases in travelers visiting or returning to the U.S. from affected regions.
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