Chikungunya Virus Continues to Spread Throughout the U.S.; 25 New Jersey Residents Test Positive

The chikungunya virus, the mysterious mosquito-borne virus first discovered in the Caribbean on the sister islands of St. Maarten/St. Martin, is continuing to spread throughout the United States with recent news that 25 New Jersey residents have tested positive for the virus following a Caribbean vacation. 

New York has recorded 44 cases, the highest number outside Florida, according to data released late Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to, New Jersey's Bergen County reported the most cases with six, while Hudson and Passaic had three each. Nationwide, the total number of travel-related cases has risen to 398, up 33 percent from last week.

The mosquito-borne virus has spread through the Caribbean, and the first two cases in the United Stated were reported last week in Florida. According to the report, health officials said the virus is not contagious from person to person, is typically not life threatening and will likely resolve on its own. 

On Wednesday, reported that a 38-year-old St. Louis County woman was infected with the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya while traveling in the Caribbean.

U.S. travelers contracted the virus in tropical destinations including Anguilla, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Indonesia, Tonga and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 250 people have contracted the virus in Puerto Rico, where health officials have declared an epidemic.

Symptoms appear on average three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito, the health department says. Most patients feel better after a few days or weeks, however, some people may develop long-term effects. 

According to, complications are more common in infants younger than a year old; those older than 65; and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.

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