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Published On: Tue, Jun 10th, 2014

Tennessee reports investigating ‘suspected’ chikungunya cases

Health officials in Tennessee say they are investigating “potential” cases of chikungunya in recent travelers to the Caribbean who are showing symptoms.

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito Image/CDC

A female Aedes aegypti mosquito
Image/CDC

“This is often a terribly painful and uncomfortable illness, with no vaccine to prevent it and no specific treatment for those infected,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “Recovery can be prolonged, so prevention is the only good option. Outbreaks have occurred in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Indian and Pacific Ocean areas and late last year the virus was found to have spread to the Caribbean. It is, unfortunately, probably just a matter of time before we have confirmed cases here.”

“Chikungunya is spread by Aedes species mosquitoes, which feed during the day and are found in abundance in Tennessee,” said Abelardo Moncayo, PhD, director of the TDH Vector-Borne Diseases program.  “It is imperative individuals experiencing symptoms of chikungunya virus minimize their exposure to mosquitoes to reduce risk of local transmission. A mosquito can pick up the virus from an infected human and infect others.”

Chikungunya is transmitted by daytime biting mosquitoes. Those who contract the illness may experience varying degrees of fever, joint and muscle pain, rash and joint swelling. Although deaths are rare, those at most risk include the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, and those who have high blood pressure, diabetes and/or heart disease.

As of last Friday, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) has reported 135,000 cases of the mosquito borne virus since December.

 

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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. US chikungunya cases exceed 40 - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] not yet confirmed, Tennessee health authorities say they are investigating potential chikungunya cases in individuals showing symptoms of the […]

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