2 Florida Cases of Mosquito Virus Contracted Locally

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

Update: Florida Department of Health
July 17, 2014

TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Department of Health today confirmed the first cases of locally acquired chikungunya (\chik-en-gun-ye) fever, one in Miami Dade County and the other in Palm Beach County. Chikungunya is a disease spread by bites from infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. If a person is infected and bitten by a mosquito, that mosquito may later spread the infection by biting another person. Chikungunya is not contagious from person to person, is typically not life threatening and will likely resolve on its own.

“The Department has been conducting statewide monitoring for signs of any locally acquired cases of chikungunya.” said Dr. Anna Likos, State Epidemiologist and Disease Control and Health Protection Director. “We encourage everyone to take precautions against mosquitoes to prevent chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases by draining standing water, covering your skin with clothing and repellent and covering doors and windows with screens.”

Aedes mosquitoes are day biters which can lay eggs in very small water containers. Early detection of the symptoms and preventing mosquitoes from multiplying and biting will help prevent the disease.

Symptoms of chikungunya include sudden onset of high fever (>102⁰F), severe joint pain mainly in the arms and legs, headache, muscle pain, back pain and rash. Symptoms appear on average three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Most patients feel better after a few days or weeks, however, some people may develop long-term effects. Complications are more common in infants younger than a year old; those older than 65; and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.

If you experience symptoms of chikungunya fever, consult with your health care provider immediately and protect yourself against further mosquito bites. A person infected with chikungunya should stay indoors as much as possible until symptoms subside to prevent further transmission. Avoiding mosquito bites while you are sick will help to protect others from getting infected. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than two months.

Chikungunya fever does not often result in death; however, some individuals may experience persistent joint pain. There is currently no vaccine or medication to prevent chikungunya fever.

DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.

  • Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.

  • Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren't being used.

  • Empty and clean birdbaths and pet's water bowls at least once or twice a week.

  • Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don’t accumulate water.

  • Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

COVER skin with clothing or repellent.

  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeves.

  • Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.

  • Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535 are effective.

COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.

  • Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.
  • To learn more about the chikungunya virus, Click HERE.

    Update: Associated Press
    July 17, 2014

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- Health officials say two people bitten by mosquitoes in Florida have become infected with the chikungunya (chik-in-GUHN'-yuh) virus.

    Dozens of cases of the illness have been reported in the state, but prior to Thursday all were contracted during travel to the Caribbean.

    The Department of Health says in the locally acquired cases, a person who was infected in the Caribbean was bitten by a mosquito in Florida and that mosquito in turn bit someone in the state.

    The two cases are in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.

    Chikungunya is rarely fatal, but can cause symptoms for months and even years.

    News Release: Associated Press
    July 16, 2014

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) -- State officials say the number of Florida travelers who contracted the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus has risen to 81.

    Florida's Department of Health says 15 new cases of the virus were reported last week. Officials say all the patients documented in Florida contracted the virus while traveling in the Caribbean.

    Chikungunya is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It was documented in 40 countries in Asia, Africa and Europe before it was first confirmed in the Caribbean late last year.

    Symptoms typically begin three to seven days after being bitten and include fever and severe joint pain, often in the hands and feet. There is no vaccine, but it rarely kills those infected.

    People infected with chikungunya are urged to avoid mosquito bites to prevent transmitting the virus.

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