What is the Chikungunya virus?
As of June 30, the Chikungunya (Pronounced: chik-en-gun-ye) virus has been confirmed in 15 states with 25 cases in Florida alone and three confirmed cases in North Carolina. FastMed is advising local North Carolinians to take precautions concerning this virus.
Transmitted in North Carolina by the Asian tiger mosquito, the Chikungunya virus is a mosquito-borne tropical infection causing debilitating fever, chills, severe joint pain throughout the body. Other symptoms could include headache, rashes or muscle pain (myalgia). Incubation for the virus once infected is typically 3-7 days and symptoms and onset of the virus can last as long as 7 days.
Chikungunya cannot be transferred from person to person, however mosquitos that bite a person with Chikungunya can then infect another person with the virus.
Treatment includes analgesics (for the muscle pain), antipyretics (to reduce the fever) and lots of rest.
Where did it come from?
Chikungunya is translated “that which bends up” from the native Mokonde tribe in Tanzania. Chikungunya has spread considerably throughout the Caribbean in 2014, but there were outbreaks of the virus in Africa, Southeast Asia, the pacific islands and the Caribbean dating back 50 years.
Think you or someone you know may have Chikungunya?
If you have traveled to the Caribbean recently, and have flu-like symptoms you should visit your physician or local FastMed Urgent Care so if you have Chikungunya you can help prevent the spread of the virus through mosquitos.
Mosquito repellent with at least 20% DEET is the most effective method of preventing contracting Chikungunya virus from a mosquito.
For more information on the Chikungunya virus checkout these resources:
- North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services – Official Chikungunya Virus – Introduction into the US – click HERE for the memo
- World Health Organization – http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs327/en/
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/