DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County Health and Human Services reported Wednesday the county’s second case of the Chikungunya virus this year. The virus is transmitted to humans through mosquito bites.
For medical confidentiality reasons, the name of the patient has not been released. But health officials stated that the patient became infected with the virus during a recent trip to the Dominican Republic. That individual was not diagnosed until after returning to Dallas County.
This is the second Chikungunya case in Dallas County this year. The first case was reported last month in a patient who had also recently returned from the Caribbean. Tarrant County reported their first case of the virus last week in a Mansfield resident who returned from the Caribbean.
The Chikungunya virus does not typically result in death, but can lead to severe complications and some disabling symptoms. It causes a high fever and joint pain, followed by a headache, muscle pain and rashing. Recovery typically takes about one week.
There is no medication or vaccine available to combat the Chikungunya virus, but it is also not contagious. The key is to avoid mosquito bites in the first place.
As is common with the West Nile virus, Dallas County health officials recommend four steps to reduce the risk of being bitten by a mosquito.
DEET: Use insect repellants that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus anytime that you go outside.
DRESS: Always wear long, loose and light-colored clothing when outside.
DRAIN: Be sure to remove any standing water from around your home.
DUSK & DAWN: Mosquitoes are most active during dusk and dawn. Try to limit outdoor activities during these times.
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