- Associated Press - Saturday, June 14, 2014

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - Rhode Island health officials are reporting the first confirmed cases of a nasty mosquito-borne virus that has been rapidly spreading in the Caribbean.

Officials say the two confirmed cases of chikungunya (chik-un-GUHN-ya) involve travelers who returned from the Dominican Republic on May 17 and May 29. Authorities are still investigating several other cases.

Chikungunya causes high fevers and joint pain but is rarely fatal. There is no vaccine and the main treatment is pain medication.

A spokesman on Saturday said the Rhode Island Department of Health will not immediately release details on the towns where sickened people live because authorities are still investigating the infections.

The Pan American Health Organization says there have been more than 135,000 suspected and confirmed cases throughout the Caribbean since the first locally transmitted case was documented in December.

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