Palm Beach County becomes the latest part of Florida to record an imported chikungunya virus case in a traveler to the Caribbean, according to a Palm Beach County Health Department (PBCHD) press release today.
PBCHD spokesman, Tim O’Connor, said the patient is a 66-year-old man who had recently been on the island of Hispaniola. “He began feeling sick on the 15th (of May) and went to the hospital on the 16th,” said O’Connor. The patient is reportedly recovering and protecting himself from exposure to all mosquitoes.
“ With a large number of people travelling to and from the Caribbean in Florida we have been monitoring for possible imported cases,” said Dr. Alina Alonso, Director of Florida Health in Palm Beach County. “We encourage all county residents and visitors to practice the drain and cover method to minimize mosquito exposure.”
The PBCHD says mosquitoes can transmit different viruses including chikungunya, West Nile and Eastern equine encephalomyelitis. Chikungunya, like dengue, can be transmitted from an infected human to an Aedes mosquito which in turn can bite another human and pass along the disease. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page.
Aedes mosquitoes are day biters which can lay eggs in very small water containers. Early detection of the symptoms and preventing mosquitoes from biting will help prevent the disease from spreading in the United States.