Mosquito-Borne Chikungunya Fever (AP Photo)
Mosquito-Borne Chikungunya Fever (AP Photo)
Mosquito-Borne Chikungunya Fever (AP Photo)

(Dallas Morning News) – Federal, state and county health officials are quietly gearing up for the spread of a new mosquito-borne virus now hitting hard in certain Caribbean and South American countries.

Most infected people develop a high fever and joint pain that can last for a week and, sometimes, months or longer. Rash, fatigue and intense muscle pain also are common symptoms.

Since January, at least 57 U.S. travelers brought home the virus, called chikungunya. They were visiting Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Martinique, St. Martin and Indonesia, where the virus is spreading, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

None of these reported cases involved Texas residents. And, to date, none of the travel-related infections have led to local transmission of the virus within the continental U.S.

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