The state government of Chiapas, Mexico, on the Guatemala border, has recorded the country’s first autochthonous transmission of chikungunya virus, according to a Reuters report today.
The patient was an 8-year girl who was treated for the illness at a hospital in the town of Arriaga. She has since been discharged.
Mexico has also seen 10 imported cases as of Nov. 7.
Neighboring Guatemala has reported in excess of 400 locally acquired cases to date.
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. It can cause high fever, join and muscle pain, and headache. Chikungunya does not often result in death, but the joint pain may last for months or years and may become a cause of chronic pain and disability.
There is no specific treatment for chikungunya infection, nor any vaccine to prevent it. Pending the development of a new vaccine, the only effective means of prevention is to protect individuals against mosquito bites.
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