Via the Miami Herald, a completely unsurprising report: Cuba confirms Chikungunya fever cases. Excerpt:
The Cuban Ministry of Health has confirmed the first six cases of Chikungunya, a painful and often lingering arthritis-like fever that has been spreading rapidly across the Caribbean for the past six months.
Five of the victims returned recently from Haiti and the sixth returned from the Dominican Republic, the ministry said Wednesday, indicating that they were infected by virus-carrying mosquitoes abroad and not in Cuba.
All are recovering and most were “linked to illicit commerce,” the ministry announcement added, apparently referring to the practice of traveling abroad to buy cheap goods and selling them for a profit after returning home.
Independent journalist Mario Hechavarría reported last week that doctors at a hospital in the eastern city of Holguin had told staffers of dozens of cases of Chikungunya in various parts of eastern Cuba.
It's pretty clear by now that by next autumn chikungunya will be all over Central America and Mexico as well as the Caribbean, and it's likely to have a disastrous effect on the economies of hot-zone countries. Tourists will start thinking of other destinations, and Canadian snowbirds—retirees who prefer the warmer winters of Florida and the US southwest—will doubtless bring chikungunya home with them. At least we're not likely to see it spreading here.