CHARLOTTE COUNTY, Fla. -- State health officials are warning Floridians to protect themselves against mosquitoes after cases of a mosquito-borne disease are appearing in the state.

Officials are urging people to drain water from their garbage cans and gutters, and cover exposed skin by wearing shoes, socks and long pants.

The warning comes not long after the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus made its way to the U.S. from the Caribbean. The Florida Department of Public Health has confirmed at least 18 cases of imported chikungunya in the state.

At least one of those cases has been reported in Charlotte County.

The chikungunya virus causes high fevers and joint pain, but it's rarely fatal. There is no vaccine and the main treatment is pain medication.

ABC 7's Josh Taylor is following this story and will have a report tonight on ABC 7 News at 5 & 6.

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