Doctors at UTMB say a U.S. outbreak of a new, debilitating mosquito-borne disease is inevitable after locally acquired cases of it showed up in the Caribbean and Latin America for the first time. Chikungunya is spread by mosquitoes and has been gradually spreading throughout the world since an epidemic broke out in Asia in 2006. "If the virus is loose anywhere in Central or South America it will very quickly spread everywhere," said Dr. Scott Weaver, director of the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity. "Through land travel, it could make it to Texas." Texas is one of 23 states in the nation where the two mosquitoes capable of carrying Chikungunya can survive. In northern states, cold climates kill them off. The news also appears in the Houston Chronicle and BioNews Texas.