The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said in a statement it was tracking reports of the chikungunya virus, which has surfaced among some residents of the French side of St. Martin.
According to the Reuters report, an infection from the virus is rarely fatal, the CDC said. Symptoms include a rash, headaches, joint and muscle pains. Infected patients often recover within a week, although joint pain can last longer.
The CDC said it was the first time the virus, which is transmitted by the same mosquitoes that spread the dengue virus, has been reported among non-travelers in the Western Hemisphere.
Previous outbreaks were reported in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Pacific, according to the report.
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