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Wednesday
Dec182013

CDC Warns of Mosquito-Borne Virus Outbreak in St. Martin

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is looking into reports of a mosquito-borne virus outbreak in St. Martin in the Caribbean.

The World Health Organization has reported 10 confirmed cases of chikungunya virus among residents on the French side of St. Martin. According to the CDC, the individuals who tested positive for chikungunya are St. Martin residents who had not traveled recently.

This is the first outbreak of the disease in the Western Hemisphere. It has previously been reported in Africa, Europe, Asia and the Pacific.

While the CDC did not go so far as to advice Americans to abstain from traveling to St. Martin, they urge anyone going there to protect themselves from the mosquitoes that spread the virus. Steps to be taken to protect against mosquitoes include insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, using air conditioning and placing screens on windows and doors.

The CDC also urges any traveler returning from the Caribbean who experiences a fever, joint pain, headache or rash to seek medical care.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio