Allen County Resident Contracts Chikungunya Virus

By Ian Hoover- 21Alive

Allen County Resident Contracts Chikungunya Virus

June 9, 2014 Updated Jun 9, 2014 at 1:03 PM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (21Alive) -- The Indiana State Board of Health is reporting that an Allen County resident has contracted Chikungunya while travelling in the Caribbean.

The resident, who recently returned from a trip to the Caribbean, recently tested positive for the virus. Chikungunya is a virus transmitted from mosquitoes that is usually found in the Caribbean and parts of Africa, Asia, and islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Cases have been identified in travelers in the past but any local transmission in the United States has yet to be recorded. The virus does not usually result in death but the symptoms can be quite severe.

"Chikungunya is just another example of the dangers posed by disease-carrying mosquitoes," said Allen County Health Commissioner Deborah McMahan, M.D. "Whether you are planning a trip to the Caribbean or a picnic in your own backyard, please remember your best defense is to wear insect repellent and stay inside as much as possible during peak biting times."

While the risk is low to contract the virus if you haven't recently traveled to the Caribbean, State officials recommend the following tips to avoid mosquito-borne virus.

· Avoid places where mosquitoes are biting;

· Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin or oil of lemon eucalyptus to clothes and exposed skin;

· Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home; and,

-When possible, wear pants and long sleeves, especially if walking in wooded or marshy areas.

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