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Chance symbiosis

Posted by: Tara Bracken

Chikungunya virus—a disease with such an outlandish name seems like it should be confined to a fittingly exotic locale. However, within 50 years of its discovery, the mosquito-borne virus, which causes a high fever and joint pain, has spread from the forests of its native Central Africa to the Indian subcontinent, the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea and in 2013, the Americas. With the first case of Chikungunya acquired within the United States occurring in Florida in 2014, it is clear the virus is finding ways to establish itself in parts of the world where it has never before been seen—the lingering question is, “How?”

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