SAN JUAN – Three people in Puerto Rico have died after being infected with the Chikungunya virus, Health Department chief epidemiologist Brenda Rivera Garcia said.
Two of the dead were residents of greater San Juan, while the third lived in the northeastern coastal town of Fajardo.
Health authorities are investigating two other fatalities to determine if the Chikungunya virus was the cause.
There have been more than 2,000 confirmed cases of Chikungunya in Puerto Rico, though health officials suspect the actual number is higher, pointing out that the symptoms are similar to those of dengue fever.
The Pan American Health Organization said Tuesday there have been 11,000 confirmed cases and 113 Chikungunya-related fatalities in the Americas.
Health authorities in Puerto Rico declared an epidemic of Chikungunya in June.
There is no vaccine to prevent the disease. The virus, spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito that is also the vector for dengue, causes fever, joint and muscle pain and headaches.