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Mexico’s First Case of Chikungunya Virus

Chikungunya is spread by two mosquito species, and is typically not fatal. But it can cause debilitating symptoms including fever, headache and severe joint pain lasting months.

The government of Chiapas, which borders Guatemala, said an 8 year old girl became the first person to contract the disease in Mexico, and that she was treated in hospital in the town of Arriaga. The girl has since been released.

There is no commercial vaccine for the virus, which was detected for the first time in the Americas late last year.

Chikungunya has already appeared in much of the Caribbean, Central America and the United States. A handful of people have had the virus in Mexico, including on woman in Jalisco, having contracted it abroad.

In September, El Salvador said it had detected nearly 30,000 cases of the virus. In the United States, locally transmitted infections – as opposed to infections in Americans traveling abroad – were reported for the first time this year.

Chikungunya, a virus more commonly found in Africa and Asia and transmitted by the aedes aegypti mosquito that causes dengue fever, was first detected in the eastern Caribbean at the start of 2014.

The virus is transmitted to people by mosquitoes. The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.


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Outbreaks have occurred in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In late 2013, chikungunya virus was found for the first time in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean.

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