Combating The Chikungunya Virus In Florida

Jul 7, 2014

Concern is growing in Florida about a disease with a funny sounding name but very serious effects.

A cryoelectron microscopy reconstruction of the Chikungunya virus.
Credit A2-33 / Wikimedia Commons

There have been at least 50 reported cases of chikungunya in Florida this year, and it seems to be spreading throughout the state. It’s believed all of the cases were contracted outside the United States.

The virus most commonly causes a high fever, joint pain and swelling, back pain and a rash, but as many as 28 percent of infected people have no symptoms.

It is rarely fatal, but the symptoms are described as miserable and debilitating. As with other viral infections, newborns and elders are at the greatest risk.

Dr. Chau Kelly, University of North Florida assistant professor of history, joined Melissa Ross for more on chikungunya.

You can follow Melissa Ross on Twitter @MelissainJax.