Florida is number one in the country for confirmed "travel associated" cases of chikungunya.

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Tampa, Florida -- Florida is number one in the country for confirmed "travel associated" cases of chikungunya with 66 cases reported so far.

One of those cases is a Manatee County man who caught it on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. Bill Hardy knew that the trip in early June would be a trip he'd never forget.

Florida is number one in the country for confirmed "travel associated" cases of chikungunya.

"What hurt? My knees mostly. I felt like I needed a walker," says Hardy.

But he never thought it would come with a great deal of pain.

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"We were told prior, chikungunya was down there and that there were cases of it," says Hardy.

Hardy says he used repellent and wore long-sleeve shirts.

"We thought we were ok," says Hardy.

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But when he returned home he realized he brought back more than just his memories.

"After we got back from our trip on Monday, I started feeling old," says Hardy.

Hardy went to a doctor in Tampa where they confirmed the worst -- a confirmed case of chikungunya.

"I was a different case because I worked in Hillsborough County and lived in Manatee County so I also fell under the Manatee County jurisdiction," says Hardy.

Both areas then sprayed for mosquitoes and sent out pamphlets to alert neighbors. For three days, Hardy said he could hardly walk.

"It got worse and worse," says Hardy.

Hardy hopes if others may be experiencing the same symptoms, they get checked out so the health department can do their part in hopes to keep the mosquito borne illness from spreading. He also hopes that chikungunya doesn't prevent people from planned trips to the Caribbean and that people just plan on protecting themselves.

California and Tenessee have had 10 cases of chikungunya

Florida leads the way with 34.

For more information on preventing chikungunya, just visit www.cdc.gov/chikungunya.

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