Buncombe Co. has first case of Chikungunya virus - FOX Carolina 21

Buncombe Co. has first case of Chikungunya virus

Posted: Updated:
ASHEVILLE, NC (FOX Carolina) -

Health officials said there is now a case of the Chikungunya virus in Buncombe County, the third in the state.

The person contracted the mosquito-transmitted illness while traveling with a group to Haiti, according to Buncombe County Health and Human Services.

The disease is transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes, but it is not transmitted from person to person.

BHHS said most people infected will get sick with symptoms including fever, joint pain and swelling, headache, muscle pain and rash.

Symptoms usually begin three and seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito and most feel better within a week though some may have joint pain that lasts for months, according to health officials.

BHHS said newborns exposed during delivery, adults older than 65 and anyone with chronic medical conditions are at a greater risk of developing severe case of the illness.

Health officials said all US cases have been linked to returning travelers and people visiting the Caribbean, East Africa and the Western Pacific region are encouraged to become familiar with ways to prevent it.

Health tips courtesy BHHS

Prevent getting mosquito bites:

  • Reduce time outdoors during early morning and evening hours when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Use mosquito repellents containing DEET or other EPA approved repellent (includes Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus). Use as often as recommended by product directions to achieve the best protection.
  • Spray clothing with a repellent containing permethrin. This gives another layer of protection.
  • Cover skin with light colored, long pants and long-sleeved shirts

Take these simple steps to prevent mosquitoes in our community:

  • Look around your home or neighborhood for items that can hold water – like cans, bottles, tires, flower pots, and tree stumps. Tip and Toss standing water.
  • Get rid of water on plastic covers on woodpiles, sand boxes or pools.
  • Change the water in bird baths and pet bowls at least two times a week.
  • Fix leaky outdoor faucets.
  • Cover rain barrels with tight-fitting screens or lids.
  • Keep gutters clean.
  • Stock ponds with fish that will eat mosquito larvae. Treat water with products from a local hardware store that will kill young mosquitoes.

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