PINELLAS (970 WFLA) - The Florida Department of Health in PinellasCounty has received confirmation of its second Chikungunya case in a Pinellas resident who traveled to the Caribbean in June and July. The mosquito-borne viral infection is characterized by a high fever, severe chronic joint pain and fatigue. There have been 81 confirmed cases in Florida in 2014.
None of the cases were acquired locally and there have been no reports of anyone acquiring the disease within the United States. Chikungunya virus is most often spread to people by infected Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes; these mosquitoes also transmit dengue virus. They bite mostly during the daytime. There's no treatment or vaccine available.
Infected persons are advised to avoid mosquito bites while they're ill to prevent transmission to someone else. Chikungunya is not carried by person-to-person contact.
Persons traveling to areas in the Caribbean can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites. Steps would include using insect repellent and staying in places with air conditioning or screens on windows and doors.
Infants, older adults and those with underlying medical conditions such as diabetes or heart disease are at risk for more severe forms of the disease.
The incubation period can range from one to 12 days after a bite from an infected mosquito.
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