Chickungunya
4:50 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

A Second Case of Travel-Related Chickungunya in North Carolina

An unidentified Alamance County resident is recovering from the chikungunya virus.

The Asian Tiger mosquito becomes infected with the chikungunya virus by biting a person already sick with it. When the insect bites a healthy person it transmits the virus. These mosquitoes have been in North Carolina for many years.
Credit cirs.ucr.edu

An Alamance County resident, who recently returned from the Caribbean, brought home more than souvenirs. They were infected with the chikungunya virus. Health officials confirmed this case Tuesday, June 24.

Stacie Turpin Sanders, the interim director of the Alamance County Health Department, says when the person returned to North Carolina, they still had symptoms but was no longer a health threat. “They no longer had the virus in their blood which we would call viremic. So they could not spread the virus to other mosquitoes in our area. The division of public health in the Alamance County Public Health Department determined there is no known risk of transmission of the chikungunya virus to our local mosquito population.”

A person contracts this virus after being bitten by a mosquito that ingested it from an infected person. Symptoms usually develop within three to seven days after a person is bitten. They include a sudden fever, a head-ache and severe, often disabling joint pain. Most people feel better within a week.

This first confirmed case of travel-related chikungunya virus was two weeks ago in Forsyth County. That person had also returned from the Caribbean.  See other areas where this virus is prevalent.

To protect yourself from contracting this virus, health departments advise you wear light colored clothing, socks, long sleeved shirts, pants and shoes when outside, use a repellent with at least 30 percent DEET and if you develop a fever and severe aching, immediately see a doctor.
 

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