Douglas County Confirms First Chikungunya Case
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Douglas County has its first case of the mosquito-borne virus called chikungunya (chik-un-GUHN-ya). The case is the state‚Äôs fourth and recently was confirmed by laboratory tests. The person who acquired the disease is a male over 50 years of age and recently traveled to Puerto Rico.¬† He was not hospitalized.
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† ‚ÄúYou should remember this person did not become infected in Nebraska,‚ÄĚ said Douglas County Health Director Dr. Adi Pour. ‚ÄúThis infection was acquired while traveling, and there will continue to be a risk for people who travel to areas where this disease has been found.‚ÄĚ
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Chikungunya facts:
- Chikungunya has been found in Africa, Asia, Europe, islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans, the Caribbean, and in countries and territories in Central and South America. The first two U.S. originated cases were reported late this week (July 18) in Florida.
- The disease is spread through mosquito bites. Aedes species mosquitoes usually transmit chikungunya. They mostly bite in the daytime.¬†
- CDC studies showed an average of 28 people in the U.S. per year tested positive for chikungunya from 2006-2013. All were travelers visiting or returning to the U.S. from affected areas.
- So far in 2014, there have been 234 chikungunya cases in 31 states - not including the Florida cases. ¬†All of those were travel-associated cases.¬†
- The most common chikungunya symptoms are fever and severe joint pain, often in hands and feet. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain or rash. Symptoms usually start within a week of being bitten by an infected mosquito.
- There is no medication to treat or prevent chikungunya. Some medicines help reduce fever and pain. Patients recover in about a week, but long-term joint pain occurs in some people.
¬†¬† ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Remember: mosquitoes can transmit many viruses to humans including chikungunya, West Nile and various kinds of encephalitis.¬†No matter where you are, it‚Äôs important to protect yourself against mosquito bites:
- Use mosquito repellent containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, or IR3535.
- Dress in long-sleeved shirts, pants and socks when you‚Äôre outside.
- Drain standing water around your home ‚Äď that provides an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes.