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Medical News & Perspectives |

World Leaders Push to Prepare for Global Threats

Bridget M. Kuehn, MSJ
JAMA. 2014;311(12):1189-1190. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.2272.
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Word from the World Health Organization (WHO) that a mosquito-transmitted virus called chikungunya was spreading on Saint Martin sent French officials scrambling to implement health security plans in December. They were not alone; the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also snapped into action, issuing an alert to clinicians (http://1.usa.gov/1dz8kuU). The French territory shares an island with Dutch Sint Maarten, and both are popular destinations for Europeans and Americans.

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Chikungunya transmission is widespread in Asia and Africa, and has been documented in France and Italy, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the disease recently has begun spreading in the Caribbean, triggering a multinational public health response.

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