Last updateFri, 04 Jul 2014 2pm

Infectious virus from Caribbean makes its entrance in Jalisco

Jalisco health authorities have confirmed the first case of the chikungunya virus in the state.

The patient is a 39-year-old woman, who was probably infected during a trip made to the Caribbean islands of Antigua and Barbuda last month.

Like dengue fever, this arthropod-borne virus is transmitted to humans by virus-carrying Aedes mosquitoes.

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{access !public}The illness produces an acute febrile phase lasting two to five days, followed by a longer period of joint pains in the extremities, sometimes lasting many months, or even years.

Jalisco Health Secretary Agustín González Álvarez said Thursday that the patient was diagnosed at the end of May and is still feeling symptoms a month later.

Recent reports suggest that chikungunya is spiralling out of control in several Caribbean nations. It was first detected on the island of St. Martin in December 2013 and declared an epidemic on May 1 this year by the Caribbean Public Health Authority. The Pan American Health Organization reported that as of June 20 there are 183,761 suspected cases of chikungunya in the Caribbean.

Even though chikungunya symptoms can be severe, the disease is rarely fatal, unlike dengue.  Also unlike Dengue, chikungunya can be contracted by an individual only once, since it gives lifelong immunity.{!access}