North Texas

Dallas County Confirms First Travel-Related Case of Chikungunya for 2018

The first case of imported Chikungunya virus for 2018 has been confirmed in Dallas County.

According to the Dallas County Health and Human Services Department, an 11-year-old resident of Irving was infected with the virus during a recent trip to India. For medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons, DCHHS does not provide additional information.

CHIKV is transmitted to people through mosquito bites from Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. These are the same mosquitoes that have been found to carry Zika and Dengue viruses.

CHIKV does not often result in death, however the symptoms can be disabling. Most people infected with CHIKV will develop symptoms of fever, joint pain, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash.

There is no vaccine to treat or prevent the Chikungunya virus. CDC advises persons with CHIKV to get plenty of rest, drink fluids to prevent dehydration and to take Tylenol to reduce fever and pain.

The best way to avoid exposure to CHIKV is to avoid mosquito bites. Residents should use the 4Ds to reduce their risk.

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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