Health officials in Cabarrus County confirmed the first case of the chikungunya virus infection in a resident Tuesday. They say that person recently traveled to a Caribbean country.
"Cabarrus Health Alliance officials have been in contact with the patient, their physician, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Centers for Disease Control regarding this case," reported Dr. William Pilkington, CEO and Public Health Director at Cabarrus Health Alliance. "This is a travel-related case meaning the patient was infected by being bitten while traveling."
"There is no treatment or vaccine for chikungunya," according to Tamara Staehler, Director of CHA's Communicable Disease Department.
Staehler added, "Treatment is simply to make the infected person as comfortable as possible by treating their symptoms. The CDC recommends rest, fluids, and the use of over-the-counter medications such as Tylenol or Advil."
Officials say North Carolina has ten confirmed cases of chikungunya.
Symptoms of the virus usually begin three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito and can include fever and severe joint pains, often in the hands and feet.
The virus is not transmissible from human to human, and many infected by the virus report feeling better within a week, according to health officials.
Cabarrus Health Alliance has set up their Health Information line for residents to call for more information or with questions at 704-920-1213.
Anyone who believes they may be infected with the virus should follow up with their primary care provider