Checking for Chikungunya in Alabama

A new mosquito-borne illness that’s hitting the United States is moving closer to home.

Health officials in Mississippi said they’re investigating the first potential case of Chikungunya virus.

It’s already been reported in Florida and Georgia.

NO REPORTS IN ALABAMA NOW

The Chikungunya virus is traced back to Asian tiger and yellow fever variety mosquitoes.

Since you’re probably not going to take a close up look at a mosquito after you swat it, we can tell you that there are no reported cases in Alabama now.

But, they are seen in sub tropical areas.

WHERE DID IT COME FROM?

Dr. Shannon Waters with Greater Mobile Urgent Care said, it came over “now to the Caribbean, so, the cases here are in people who have travelled: say, missionaries who have been to Haiti who have come back, and come back with a mosquito bite where that mosquito has been infected with this virus.”

However, health officials said the disease is transferred from mosquitoes to humans and then back to mosquitoes.

SYMPTOMS

What are the symptoms after someone is bitten?

Dr. Waters said, “Several days later, they begin to have very high fever, lots of joint aches, kind of like a really, really bad flu.”

What’s more, the Centers for Disease Control said the virus has no cure, no vaccine, and no treatment.

Dr. Waters said, “It’s not likely to be fatal, but, obviously, in the very elderly, then, you have to start thinking about some of the other sicknesses that they had, and how this could interact with that.”

People with weak immune systems are also at risk.

QUESTIONS? SEE YOUR DOCTOR

Chances are you’re going to get bitten by a mosquito soon, but keep this in mind.

Dr. Waters said, “It’s still something (where) you should see the doctor, if you have travelled somewhere, you come back, and develop this.”

TIPS TO AVOID MOSQUITO BITES

http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/avoid-bug-bites

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