Texas Health Officials Report 19 Cases of Chikungunya Statewide - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Texas Health Officials Report 19 Cases of Chikungunya Statewide

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    Texas Health Officials Report 19 Cases of Chikungunya Statewide

    State health officials say 19 Texans have now come down with the mosquito-borne illness known as Chikungunya.

    Of those, eight cases are in North Texas.

    But so far none of the cases have originated in this area. All eight contracted the virus somewhere else and were diagnosed back home.

    Chikungunya virus causes high fever and severe joint pain that start suddenly. It can also cause headache, muscle pain and rash. Chikungunya does not often result in death, but the symptoms can be disabling, and some people may get severe complications. There is no specific medication available to treat Chikungunya and there is not a vaccine. Avoiding mosquito bites is the key to avoid Chikungunya.

    How to Protect Yourself from Mosquito Bites
    • Dress in long sleeves, pants when outside: For extra protection, spray thin clothing with repellent.
    • DEET: Make sure this ingredient is in your insect repellent.
    • Drain standing water in your yard and neighborhood: Mosquitoes can develop in any water stagnant for more than three days.

    It has been recommended in the past that to avoid mosquito bites you should avoid being outdoors during Dusk and Dawn (the 4 Ds). While this is true for mosquitoes that commonly carry the West Nile virus, other types of mosquitoes that are more likely to carry Zika, dengue and chikungunya are active during the day. When outdoors, no matter what time of day, adjust your dress accordingl and wear insect repellent containing DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus as your first line of defense against insect bites.

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