The number of fatalities related to the mosquito borne virus, chikungunya, has increased by three in Puerto Rico, according to a Departamento de Salud de Puerto Rico release (computer translated).

Puerto Rico/CIA
Puerto Rico/CIA

This brings the island country’s total to 13 deaths.

Health officials report a cumulative total of chikungunya cases for 2014 at 26,336. More than two dozen cases have been reported as of the first week of 2015.

In Colombia, the chikungunya case count continues to increase weekly. According to the Pan American Health Organization report Friday, Colombia saw an additional 14,000 cases, bringing that country’s total to more than 127,000.

The outbreak total of local transmission in the Americas since Dec. 2013 is now at 1,182,857.

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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