Published On: Mon, Jun 9th, 2014

Nebraska reports chikungunya case in traveler to Haiti

The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has reported the states first chikungunya case in a traveler to Haiti, according to a DHHS press release Monday.

The patient is a 25-year-old woman from eastern Nebraska who has since been hospitalized and released.

Aedes aegypti Image/CDC

Aedes aegypti

“Travel-associated cases of chikungunya are still fairly uncommon in the U.S. However, we expect to see more in the coming years,” said Dr. Joseph Acierno, Chief Medical Officer and Director of Public Health for DHHS. “Thankfully, deaths from the disease are rare but the pain can be severe and debilitating.” 

Chikungunya is a viral disease that is spread by mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain.Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.

The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue is common. There is no cure for the disease. Treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms.

The proximity of mosquito breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for chikungunya. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

The disease occurs in Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. In recent decades mosquito vectors of chikungunya have spread to Europe and the Americas. In 2007, disease transmission was reported for the first time in Europe, in a localized outbreak in north-eastern Italy.

The CDC notes there is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent chikungunya. People can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.

CDC studies showed an average of 28 people per year tested positive for chikungunya in the United States from 2006-2013. All were travelers visiting or returning to the U.S. from affected areas.

As of June 2, there have been 27 chikungunya cases in nine states (Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Virginia) according to the CDC. All were travel-associated cases. 



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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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