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Published On: Fri, Aug 1st, 2014

Florida confirms ‘locally acquired’ chikungunya cases in St. Lucie, Palm Beach Counties

The Florida Department of Health confirmed two additional locally acquired, or autochthonous cases of the mosquito borne virus, chikungunya, bringing the total of such cases to four in the state and the country.

Female Aedes aegypti mosquito Image/James Gathany

Female Aedes aegypti mosquito
Image/James Gathany

The Florida Department of Health in St Lucie County (FDOH-St Lucie) Wednesday confirmed a case of locally-acquired chikungunya  fever. The county’s first locally acquired case was an adult who lives in a residential area north of Dan McCarty School in Fort Pierce. The individual did not require hospitalization and is recovering.

“Avoiding mosquito bites is the key to preventing infection with chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases,” said Larry Lee, St Lucie County Health Officer. “Floridians and visitors are encouraged to take precautionary measures to help reduce the chance of being bitten. Remember to drain and cover.”

In addition, health officials in Palm Beach County confirmed the second case of locally acquired chikungunya  fever.  With this second Palm Beach County case, Health Officials are changing the mosquito borne Advisory from the possibility of transmission to an Alert status warning that the disease is likely in the mosquito population.

“The Department continues to conduct countywide monitoring for signs of additional locally acquired cases of chikungunya,” said Dr. Alina Alonso, Director, Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County. “Everyone should take precautions and fight the bite of mosquitoes to prevent chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases.”

In addition to the four indigenous chikungunya cases reported this year, Florida has also reported 115 travel-associated, or imported cases.  For more infectious disease news and informationvisit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

Symptoms of chikungunya include sudden onset of high fever (>102⁰F), multiple joint pains, 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.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Tuesday, 398 travel associated chikungunya cases in the US and territories and 203 locally acquired cases (primarily in Puerto Rico). This last number does not include the two latest  autochthonous cases reported above.

 

 

About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the Outbreak News This Week Radio Show on http://1380thebiz.com/ Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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