Tampa Bay Rays pitcher, Joel Peralta, may have contracted chikungunya in the Dominican Republic
The Rays right-hander, Joel Peralta will likely be sidelined for a period as he battles a suspected case of chikungunya, according to the team website. Peralta, who is from the Dominican Republic, traveled to his home during the All-Star break and began starting showing symptoms resembling chikungunya this past Friday.
“I’ve had a fever and pain in my joints,” said Peralta by telephone on Monday. “Feels like all my joints are sore. That’s how I feel.”
The Dominican Republic is experiencing an epidemic of the mosquito borne virus, in which over 250,000 cases (well more than half of all cases reported in the Western hemisphere) have been reported since the virus found its way to the country in March 2014.
Chikungunya is transmitted via the bite of the Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which also transmit the dengue virus. Peralta vaguely remembers getting mosquito bites while in the Dominican Republic, “I think so,” Peralta said. “I kind of remember getting bit by a mosquito. One or two times.”
Chikungunya is an illness caused by a virus that spreads through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of chikungunya are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Chikungunya disease rarely results in death, but the symptoms can be severe and disabling. Most people who get sick feel better within a week. In some people, the joint pain may last for months or years.
There is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent chikungunya. The only way to prevent chikungunya is to prevent mosquito bites. Preventing bites can be difficult, but it is important as you can get sick after just one bite. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page