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Published On: Sat, Jun 28th, 2014

Oklahoma: 2nd chikungunya case reported in Tulsa County

A second case of imported chikungunya has been reported in a Tulsa County resident, Oklahoma health officials report Thursday. Like the first case reported last week, the new case had recently traveled to the Caribbean.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) says both individuals were adults participating in mission trips/humanitarian aid who reported mosquito bites during their travel to this area. This has again prompted health officials to highlight the importance of taking preventive measures against mosquito exposure for those traveling to the Caribbean, e.g. use air conditioning or window/door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.  If you are not able to protect yourself from mosquitoes inside your home or hotel, sleep under a mosquito bed net, use mosquito repellents according to instructions, if weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants and help reduce the number of mosquitoes outside your home or hotel room by emptying standing water from containers such as flowerpots or buckets.

 

Tulsa County (red), Oklahoma/David Benbennick

Tulsa County (red), Oklahoma/David Benbennick

Chikungunya (pronounced chik-en-gun-ye) is a viral disease.  Chikungunya cases have been reported in Africa, Asia, Europe, Oceania/Pacific Islands, and the Americas.  Beginning in late 2013, outbreaks have been reported in the Caribbean Islands.  Chikungunya virus is not currently found in the United States; however, cases are occurring among persons who travel outside the U.S. to affected areas, including travel related to tourism, visiting family and friends, mission trips, peace corps, etc.

Chikungunya virus is transmitted to people through mosquito bites.  Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus.  Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites.  Chikungunya virus is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.  These are the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue virus.  They bite mostly during the daytime.  Chikungunya is not spread from person to person.

The majority of people infected with chikungunya virus become symptomatic.  Symptoms usually begin 3-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain.  Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.  Chikungunya disease does not often result in death, but the symptoms can be severe and disabling.  Most patients feel better within a week.  In some people, the joint pain may persist for months.  Persons at risk for more severe disease include neonates (aged <1 month) exposed intrapartum, older adults (>65 years), and persons with underlying medical conditions (e.g., hypertension, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease). Watch this World Health Organization video, “Chikungunya: the virus that “bends up” for more information.

There is no vaccine or preventative drug available for chikungunya. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

To date, there has been more than a quarter million locally acquired chikungunya cases reported in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

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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 podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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