TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

First U.S.-acquired chikungunya case reported in Florida

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced on Thursday that the first case of chikungunya virus acquired in the U.S. was reported in Florida.

The CDC said it will work closely with the Florida Department of Health to determine how the man contracted chikungunya. The CDC also said it will monitor for any other cases of the disease contracted within the U.S. in the coming weeks and months, according to a CDC press release.

"The arrival of chikungunya virus, first in the tropical Americas and now in the United States, underscores the risks posed by this and other exotic pathogens," Roger Nasci, the chief of the CDC's Arboviral Diseases Branch, said. "This emphasizes the importance of CDC's health security initiatives designed to maintain effective surveillance networks, diagnostic laboratories and mosquito control programs both in the United States and around the world."

The U.S. has averaged 28 cases of imported chikungunya per year since 2006 in people returning from countries where the disease is common. So far in 2014, 243 cases of chikungunya virus were reported in 31 states and two territories.

The CDC said it believes chikungunya virus will behave like the dengue virus in the U.S., where imported cases led to sporadic local transmission but not any large outbreaks.