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Chikungunya 2014. Courtesy CDC.

Chikungunya 2015. Courtesy CDC.

Epidemiology: Chikungunya in the United States

Prior to 2006, chikungunya was rarely seen in US travelers from endemic regions; however, from 2006 until 2013, an average of 28 cases per year were reported in US travelers. Chikungunya cases arrived in the northern Americas in 2013 from Africa to St. Martin in the Caribbean. The virus spread rapidly throughout Mexico, Central America, and South America. An Asian strain was also introduced to these areas.
The first case of chikungunya locally acquired in the US was reported in July 2014. This was only nine months after the first cases were reported in the Caribbean. By January 2016, 679 cases have been reported from 44 states. Almost all of these cases are from people traveling or emigrating from parts of the world where it is endemic. In 2014 there were 12 locally mosquito-transmitted cases in Florida. As of last year, 4,216 locally transmitted disease cases were reported from Puerto Rico and 251 cases from the US Virgin Islands.