Kansas health officials say two people who recently traveled to the Caribbean have been diagnosed with a painful virus transmitted by mosquitoes.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said Thursday the two adults represent the state's first identified cases of travel-associated chikungunya virus. Both adults are from Sedgwick County and made separate trips to the Caribbean.
The virus causes fever and joint pain, along with headaches, rash and muscle pain. It's rarely fatal, but KDHE Secretary Robert Moser says it can be serious and debilitating.
Chikungunya virus has been known for decades in Africa and Asia. The first case directly caused by a mosquito in the Western Hemisphere was documented late last year, in French St. Martin.
Additional information about chikungunya virus can be found by visiting the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/chikungunya. Health care providers may contact the KDHE Epidemiology Hotline at (877) 427-7317 for additional information.