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First death from chikungunya virus reported in Nicaragua

August 13, 2015

MANAGUA, Nicaragua — Nicaragua reported Thursday its first death from chikungunya since the first cases of the mosquito-borne virus were detected in July of last year, officials said. A 22-month-old boy was the victim, government spokeswoman Rosario Murillo reported. Murillo gave no details about where the boy was from, but she said his sister showed symptoms of the virus and was receiving medical attention.

Though not as deadly as dengue, chikungunya causes high fever, nausea, vomiting, severe joint pain and, in rare cases, death. The virus has historically been present in Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent, but has been spreading throughout the Americas in recent years.

Between January and August, 2,704 cases of chikungunya have been registered in Nicaragua. A total of 5,399 people in the country have been infected since the first case was detected in July, 2014, according to health authorities.

Honduras registered its first death from chikungunya in February — a 23-day-old infant.

Costa Rican health officials said last month that they had registered 748 cases of the virus — spread throughout all seven provinces — since detecting the first cases in July 2014.

There have been no known fatalities from chikungunya in Costa Rica.

Like dengue, chikungunya is carried primarily by the mosquito species Aedes aegipty and Aedes albopictus.

There is currently no cure for the disease. Prevention measures include spraying insecticide, wearing repellent and removing stagnant water.

With information from AFP

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