Garland Resident Contracts Chikungunya in Mexico

Patient is no longer contagious, health department says

The Garland Health Department says a resident is the first imported case of Chikungunya in 2015 after contracting the virus during a recent trip to Mexico.

The health department confirmed the case Tuesday afternoon and said the infected person is no longer contagious.

"Chikungunya is transmitted from person to person by mosquitoes. The virus causes high fever, severe joint pain, headache, muscle pain and rash. The virus does not often result in death, but the symptoms can be severe and disabling," the health department said in a statement.

There is no specific medication or vaccine available to treat Chikungunya so avoiding mosquito bites is the best way to prevent contracting the virus.

The Garland Health Department said 12 mosquito pools have tested positive for West Nile virus in 2015, including recent positive samples collected on the 2500 block of Wood Drive and the 4300 block of O'Banion Road.

Because of those positive samples, the city will spray for mosquitoes around the affected areas on Aug. 11 and Aug. 12.

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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