WilCo resident is Texas’ first chikungunya case

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas’ first case of chikungunya, a viral disease spread by mosquitoes, has been confirmed in a Williamson County resident.

The Department of State Health Services says the patient recently came back to Texas after a trip to the Caribbean where the disease has been found in humans since 2013.

There have been no reports of the disease spreading locally.

The disease cannot be directly transmitted person to person, however it can be spread by mosquitoes.

“To prevent the spread of the disease, people with chikungunya illness should be especially careful to avoid exposure to mosquitoes during the first week of illness,” the SDHS said in an announcement Monday.

It is important to note that chikungunya infections are rarely deadly. Symptoms of the disease include joint pain, high fever, head and muscle aches, joint swelling and rashes. They typically develop between three- to seven days after being bitten by a mosquito. Symptoms typically pass within a week.

Preventing the spread of chikungunya

Because the mosquitoes that transmit the disease are active and bite during the day, the SDHS suggests you use an approved insect repellent every time you go outside. They also suggest draining standing water, wearing long sleeves and pants when you go outside and using air conditioning or make sure doors and windows are screened so mosquitoes cannot get inside.

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