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An experimental vaccine to protect people from the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus has shown promise in its first human trial.

"This vaccine was safe and well-tolerated, and we believe that this vaccine makes a type of antibody that is effective against chikungunya," said trial leader Dr. Julie Ledgerwood, chief of the clinical trials program at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Currently, there are no vaccines or drugs to treat this debilitating infection, which causes fever and intensely painful, severe arthritis.

Chikungunya has spread from its origins in Africa to Asia and the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Last month, the first U.S. cases were reported in Florida, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The new report was published online Aug. 15 in The Lancet.

Click here to read more from CBSNEWS.com.

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