Senator Fears Virus Will Spread After World Cup

Published 06/22 2014 10:29PM

Updated 06/22 2014 10:51PM

WASHINGTON, D.C. - New York U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer fears a painful virus will quickly spread across the United States following the World Cup in Brazil.

The South American host country is currently reporting high levels of mosquitoes that can carry Chikungunya, a virus that people can contract if bitten by an infected mosquito.

The virus is rarely fatal, but is extremely painful. The most common symptoms are fever, severe arthritic pains, rashes, and headaches.

“With the large influx of people into and out of Brazil for the World Cup, the painful mosquito-borne virus called Chikungunya could spread rapidly and further increase the number of cases here in the U.S. and New York,” Schumer said in a statement.

Senator Schumer is asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue an alert about the virus, which has already turned up in New York and 14 other states.

That alert would give doctors and nurses time to better identify, contain, and treat the disease.

Schumer has also asked the Department of Homeland Security to declare a "public emergency", an action that would be similar to 2009 when an emergency was declared for the spread of swine flu from Mexico. Such a declaration would release specific resources to combat the virus, including more frequent border inspections.

Copyright 2016 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.