AUGUSTA, Maine — State health officials are confirming the first two cases in Maine this year of a travel-acquired disease which is transmitted by mosquitos. Maine Center for Disease Control Director Dr. Sheila Pinette says that both Maine cases of chikungunya are in people who traveled to the Dominican Republic. She says several additional unrelated cases are under investigation.
"People will get gastralgias, joint pain, muscle aches," she says. "They'll have a fever and they'll have severe headaches. They can often get swelling of their joints and actually have a rash at the site where the mosquito has bitten, but the mortality rate is less than 1 percent."
Maine CDC says the chikungunya virus is transmitted to people by specific mosquito species that are not present in Maine. However, Pinette says the species that carries the virus has arrived in far southern Florida, where a couple of locally transmitted cases have been identified.