DHEC confirms SC's first case of chikungunya virus - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

DHEC confirms SC's first case of chikungunya virus

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COLUMBIA, SC (WBTV) -

South Carolina's first confirmed case of chikungunya virus found in a person who recently returned from a trip to Haiti, South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) said.

Chikungunya virus, a mosquito-borne illness traditionally found in Africa and Asia, was recently identified in the Caribbean.

The symptoms of chikungunya are headache, fever, rash, joint swelling or muscle pain. So far the virus has only been identified in the United States in individuals who recently traveled internationally.

"The chikungunya virus is spread from person to person by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquito," said Dr. Linda Bell, state epidemiologist with DHEC.

"People who are traveling to areas where mosquito-borne viruses have been identified should take extra precautions to prevent mosquito bites."

Bell added anyone who has recently been to the Caribbean and believes they have been infected should contact their health care provider and stay indoors for at least seven days to avoid spreading the virus to South Carolina mosquitos.

DHEC suggests protecting yourself, family and animals from any mosquito-borne illness by taking these precautions:

  • Use a mosquito repellant containing DEET while outdoors
  • Remove all sources of standing water around your home to prevent breeding
  • Wear loose, light-colored, long clothing to cover arms and legs while outdoors
  • Avoid peak mosquito times such as dawn and dusk
  • Change animal watering bowls regularly

For more information about chikungunya virus, visit: http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/.

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