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New Mosquito-Borne Virus Is Spreading In Latin America

Update Date: Sep 29, 2014 11:26 AM EDT

A mosquito-borne illness, arrived less than a year ago in Americas is spreading across the region, leaping from the Caribbean to the Central and South American mainland, according to a new report. The disease has infected more than 1 million people.

The report added that some cases have already emerged in the United States. 

The disease, called chikungunya is not fatal, though it has overwhelmed hospitals, causing sufferers days of pain and misery. 

In El Salvador, health officials report nearly 30,000 suspected cases, up from 2,300 at the beginning of August, and hospitals are filled with people with the telltale signs of the illness, including joint pain so severe it can be hard to walk, the press release added. 

"The pain is unbelievable," said Catalino Castillo, a 39-year-old seeking treatment at a San Salvador hospital, in the press release. "It's been 10 days and it won't let up."

Venezuelan officials have also reported at least 1,700 cases as of Friday, which is expected to rise. 

According to the Pan American Health Organization, chikungunya has spread to at least two dozen countries and territories across the Western Hemisphere since the first case was registered around a year ago. 

The report was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. 

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