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Chikungunya Case Confirmed in Dallas County

Dallas County Health and Human Services confirmed Monday the third case of imported Chikungunya virus in Dallas County this year.

According to the health department, the person was infected with the virus during recent travel to Guatemala and was diagnosed after returning to Dallas County.

As per usual, identifying information about the person will not be made public.

Chikungunya virus is transmitted to people by mosquitoes. The 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.

There have been no human cases of West Nile virus in Dallas County this year.

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 accordingly 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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