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Published On: Fri, Jun 13th, 2014

Tennessee: Chikungunya confirmed in Madison County resident

The Tennessee Department of Health has confirmed the first case of chikungunya in Tennessee. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention laboratory results show a resident of Madison County tested positive for the virus. 

Multiple people from Tennessee and other states who recently traveled to the Caribbean now have symptoms of the illness. Chikungunya is now widespread in the Caribbean, with more than 170,000 suspected cases reported. 

Madison County, Tennessee/David Benbennick

Madison County, Tennessee/David Benbennick

“At this time there is no vaccine against chikungunya, so the only way to contain its spread is to prevent mosquito bites,” said State Epidemiologist Tim Jones, MD. “Chikungunya is spread by mosquitoes that feed during the day and are found in abundance in Tennessee.” Right now, there is no evidence of transmission of chikungunya in Tennessee, so people most at risk are those returning from travel to the Caribbean; however, health officials remind Tennesseans of the importance of taking precautions to protect themselves from bites from mosquitoes that may spread this and other viruses such as West Nile and La Crosse.  

“Anyone with symptoms of chikungunya virus should minimize his or her exposure to mosquitoes to reduce the risk of transmission,” said State Medical Entomologist Abelardo Moncayo, PhD, director of the TDH Vector-Borne Diseases program. “A mosquito can pick up the virus from an infected human and infect other people.”

Laboratory testing is commercially available. TDH urges healthcare providers to contact their local health department to report cases. TDH also cautions all residents, particularly those who travel abroad, to increase their efforts to prevent mosquito bites.

The Tennessee Department of Health offers these recommendations for preventing mosquito bites:

  • Chikungunya is spread by Aedes mosquitoes, which feed during the day as well as at dawn and dusk, so take precautions to prevent bites any time you are outside.
  • Use insect repellants such as DEET, Picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 on your skin, following all label recommendations for usage. Pay particular attention to recommendations for use on children and never apply any of these products around the mouth or eyes at any age. Consult your health care provider if you have questions.
  • Certain products containing permethrin are recommended for use on clothing, shoes, bed nets and camping gear. Permethrin-treated clothing repels and kills mosquitoes and other pests and retains this effect after repeated laundering. Permethrin is not to be used directly on skin.
  • Do not use perfume, cologne or other scented products such as deodorant, soap or lotion if you’re going outside, as fragrances may attract mosquitoes.
  • Remember “long, loose and light” when selecting outdoor wear. Long-sleeved shirts and long pants are best, and for improved effectiveness, tuck pants into your socks and your shirt into your pants to form bug barriers. Wear loose-fitting clothing to prevent bites through the fabric. Light-colored clothes are less attractive to many insects and may allow you to spot them more easily.
  • Eliminate standing water near your home, which can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Many containers, even those as small as a bottle cap, can hold enough water for mosquitoes to breed.
  • Keep wading pools empty when not in use and store them on their sides. Replace water in bird baths weekly and don’t allow water to stand in buckets or barrels. If you have a rain collection barrel, make sure it has a tight-fitting screen on the top.
  • Keep windows and doors closed or cover with screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.

Nationally in the US, more than 40 travel associated chikungunya cases have been confirmed. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

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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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  1. Tennessee Department of Health confirms state’s First Chikungunya Case – Clarksville Online | Weight Loss Diet Plan says:

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  4. Tennessee Department of Health confirms state’s First Chikungunya Case – Clarksville Online | Amazing News says:

    […] Has No Known Cure or TreatmentKCRGMission workers, vacationers at risk for chikungunyaThe TennesseanThe Global Dispatch -WBIR-TV -NewsChannel5.comall 153 news […]

  5. Chikungunya virus reported in North Carolina – UPI.com | Amazing News says:

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  6. Chikungunya virus reported in North Carolina – UPI.com | HNP says:

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  7. Chikungunya virus reported in North Carolina – UPI.com | Amazing News says:

    […] the Forsyth …Mission workers, vacationers at risk for chikungunyaThe TennesseanTennessee: Chikungunya confirmed in Madison County residentThe Global Dispatch1st case of chikungunya virus found in […]

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