Cuba confirms first 6 cases of chikungunya virus

HAVANA (AP) — Cuban authorities are confirming the country's first six cases of chikungunya fever.

A Health Ministry statement published in Communist Party daily Granma says those sickened are islanders who traveled recently to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

It said Wednesday that they are in good condition.

The mosquito-borne virus has long been found in Africa and Asia but is a recent arrival in the Caribbean. The first locally transmitted case in the region was detected in December.

Chikungunya is rarely fatal. But those who have contracted the virus call it a miserable experience.

Its symptoms have been described as a combination of a terrible flu and a sudden case of arthritis, with searing headaches, a high fever and intense joint pain.

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