First case of chikungunya virus this year confirmed in SC - FOX Carolina 21

First case of chikungunya virus this year confirmed in SC

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COLUMBIA, SC (FOX Carolina) -

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has confirmed the first case of the chikungunya virus in a resident who recently returned from a trip to Haiti.

DHEC said symptoms of the virus, which is a mosquito-borne illness traditionally found in Africa and Asia, are headache, fever, rash, joint swelling or muscle pain.

"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."

Anyone who has recently been to the Caribbean and believes they have been infected by the virus should contact their health care provider and stay indoors for a week to avoid spreading the virus to area mosquitos, Bell added.

DHEC recomends taking the following precautions to protect your family and animals:

  • 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

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