SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic – Health authorities in the Dominican Republic have reported the first outbreak of a mosquito-borne virus that has spread quickly in the Caribbean in the weeks since it was first detected in the region.
Health Minister Freddy Hidalgo says blood samples analyzed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control confirmed the first cases in the country of the virus known as chikungunya.
Health officials said Friday that 150-200 cases have been treated for symptoms since the first incidence was detected March 22. Most were in and around the town of Nigua, west of the capital.
Chikungunya is found mainly in Africa and Asia. It is rarely fatal but can cause fever, rash, fatigue and intense muscle and joint pain. The first Caribbean cases were detected in December in French St. Martin.