Thirty-five U.S. states report travel-related cases of chikungunya

Health officials in 35 states have reported a total of 284 cases of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus, according to recent data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

The total number of cases reported in U.S. and its territories has risen to 497, most of which are associated with travelers returning from the Caribbean and South America. Locally-transmitted cases have been reported in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

According to the CDC, the number of cases will likely increase, thereby leading to additional local spread of the virus in the continental U.S. Between 2006 and 2013, an average of 28 people, all of whom were travelers returning from affected areas, tested positive for the virus.

Florida and New York have reported the most cases, followed by Tennessee, New Jersey, Rhode Island, California and Connecticut.

The virus, which is most often spread by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, can cause headache, fever, joint pain and swelling and rash. No treatment is available. Symptoms usually appear within 3-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.