First Case of Chikungunya Virus Suspected in West Virginia - WBOY - Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

First Case of Chikungunya Virus Suspected in West Virginia

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West Nile virus has been a health hazard for years, but now another mosquito-borne threat is suspected to have surfaced in our state.

The Marion County Health Department said a certain breed of mosquito carries the Chikungunya virus, which is affecting folks traveling to the Caribbean. 

Symptoms include high fever and severe joint pain.

"The symptoms would appear three to seven days after they would have been bitten, specifically, if you have traveled to the Caribbean, came back, and had the symptoms. It may alert you to contact your doctor," said Donna Riffle of the Marion County Health Department.

"Travelers to these countries have carried the Chikungunya virus back to the United States," said Dr. Letitia Tierney, State Health Officer and Commissioner for the Bureau for Public Health, in a press release.  "It is possible that local mosquito populations could be infected. Currently, we have one suspected case in West Virginia from a traveler to an endemic country."

Other symptoms include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. At the beginning of the sickness, individuals will experience a flu-like illness. Chikungunya does not often result in death.  The CDC said 13 states have had 80 confirmed cases thus far.
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