(PALM BEACH DAILY NEWS) — With the first cases of chikungunya fever transmitted within the United States confirmed last week, local mosquito and public health experts are urging residents to take precautions to avoid getting bitten by mosquitoes.
On Thursday, the Florida Department of Health confirmed two locally acquired cases of the viral disease — one in a 41-year-old woman who lives in Miami-Dade County and the other in a 50-year-old man who is a Palm Beach County resident.
The man had not traveled out of the area in the past year, according to Palm Beach County Health Department spokesman Tim O’Connor.
The disease is spread by being bitten by an infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquito. Chikungunya causes flu-like symptoms and is most likely to cause stronger reactions in people who are very young; who are age 65 or older; or who have chronic conditions such as diabetes or hypertension. It is not life-threatening.