ATLANTA (AP) – U.S. health officials have issued a travel advisory for the Caribbean island of St. Martin because of a mosquito-borne disease.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s closely following reports of the chikungunya (chik-un-GUHN-ya) virus among residents of the French side of St. Martin.
The World Health Organization has reported 10 confirmed cases on the island. The CDC says it’s the first time the disease has been reported among non-travelers in the Western Hemisphere.
The virus can cause fever, joint pains, a rash, muscle aches and headaches. Travelers to St. Martin are advised to avoid mosquito bites by using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and to use air conditioning and window and door screens to keep mosquitoes out.