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Mosquito-borne virus spreading in Caribbean

By Korea Herald

Published : Jan. 17, 2014 - 20:00

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KINGSTON (AP) ― A mosquito-borne virus appears to be spreading quickly in the Caribbean during the winter tourism season just weeks after epidemiologists first found local transmission occurring in the French dependency of St. Martin.

St. Martin now has as many as 200 cases of chikungunya, a virus found mainly in Africa and Asia that can cause a debilitating but rarely fatal sickness with fever, rash, fatigue and intense muscle and joint pain.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said new cases have been confirmed on the French Caribbean islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Barthelemy.

The virus also infected a couple of residents of Dutch St. Maarten, which shares an island with St. Martin that was already battling dengue fever, a more serious mosquito-borne illness.