Chikungunya Virus

Friday, August 08, 2014

Chikungunya virus is a mosquito-borne disease especially prevalent in the Caribbean, where it can infect U.S. travelers. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about chikungunya virus and how we can protect ourselves in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Chikungunya virus is a mosquito-borne illness traditionally found in Africa and Asia that began appearing in the Caribbean. Cases have now begun appearing in the United States.

The chikungunya virus was first identified in Tanzania in the early 1950s. The virus can spread locally from person to person through the bite of a mosquito.

Chikungunya virus causes fever, muscle and joint pain, and swelling of the joints. Unlike West Nile virus, chikungunya virus infection is rarely fatal. It can cause illness for seven to 10 days, however. Infection can cause fever, flu-like symptoms and painful swelling of the joints.

The Mississippi State Department of Health investigated the first possible case of chikungunya virus infection earlier this year in a Mississippi resident who had returned from Haiti.

Travelers to areas where the disease is presentincluding parts of Africa, Asia and the Caribbean, and especially Haitishould take protective measures against mosquitoes. That includes wearing loose, protective clothing and using a mosquito repellent containing DEET or another recommended ingredient.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.