Chikungunya-Positive Mosquito Found in Harris County

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    Health officials in Harris County say a mosquito has tested positive for the Chikungunya virus. It is the first Chikungunya-positive mosquito detected in the state.

    The first human case in Texas was reported on July 7, 2014.

    According to the Texas Department of State Health Services, as of Wednesday, 10 confirmed human cases have been reported across the state, including one in Dallas County.

    All of those patients became infected while traveling to overseas regions where the virus is more common.

    Texas Mosquito Tests Positive for Chikungunya

    [DFW] Texas Mosquito Tests Positive for Chikungunya
    A mosquito has tested positive for Chikungunya in Texas for the first time. In each of the human cases so far, the patients had contracted the virus outside Texas. (Published Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014)

    Health officials have not determined whether the mosquito carrying Chikungunya in Harris County obtained the virus from an infected person already in Texas or if it traveled to the United States trapped in large cargo.

    Chikungunya is not spread from person-to-person. Rather, it is only spread from infected mosquitoes.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to protect yourself and your family from the virus is to prevent mosquito bites. That means using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, using air conditioning or window/door screens and reducing mosquito breeding areas such as standing water.

    Although the CDC does not expect widespread cases of Chikungunya in the United States this summer, American travelers infected overseas may continue to return and bring the virus with them.

    First Human Case of Chikungunya in Texas

    [DFW] First Human Case of Chikungunya in Texas
    Health experts are warning people about the spread of Chikungunya while traveling to the Caribbean. (Published Monday, July 7, 2014)

    Chikungunya virus is transmitted to people by two species of mosquitoes: Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. Both species are found in the southeastern United States and limited parts of the Southwest. Aedes albopictus is also found further north up the East Coast, through the Mid-Atlantic States, and is also found in the lower Midwest.

    People infected with Chikungunya virus typically develop fever and joint pain. Other symptoms can include muscle aches, headaches, joint swelling or rash.

    Another Mosquito-Based Problem to Worry About

    [DFW] Another Mosquito-Based Problem to Worry About
    As if West Nile virus wasn't enough, another mosquito-based problem is grabbing attention lately: the Chikungunya virus. So far, 88 cases have been brought into the U.S.this summer from the Caribbean. (Published Thursday, June 26, 2014)

    There is no vaccine and no specific treatment for infection.