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FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN PALM BEACH COUNTY CONFIRMS SECOND LOCAL CASE OF CHIKUNGUNYA FEVER
COUNTY RAISED TO ALERT STATUS
~ Drain standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying ~
~ Cover skin with clothing or repellent ~
~ Cover doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out ~
PALM BEACH COUNTY – The Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County today has confirmed the second case of locally acquired chikungunya (\chik-en-gun-ye) fever. Chikungunya is a disease spread by bites from infected Aedes aegypti or Aedes albopictus mosquitoes. With this second Palm Beach County case, Health Officials are changing the mosquito borne Advisory from the possibility of transmission to an Alert status warning that the disease is likely in the mosquito population. Chikungunya is not contagious from person-to-person, is typically not life threatening and will likely resolve on its own. Persons infected with Chikungunya can infect the mosquito that in turn infects another person.
"The Department continues to conduct countywide monitoring for signs of additional locally acquired cases of chikungunya,” said Dr. Alina Alonso, Director, Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County. “Everyone should take precautions and fight the bite of mosquitoes to prevent chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases.” This includes, surveying your property and removing standing water from anything that can hold water, covering-up with long sleeves and using insect repellant before you go outside, and covering your doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.
Aedes mosquitoes are day-biters which can lay eggs in very small water containers. Early detection of the symptoms and preventing mosquitoes from multiplying and biting will help prevent the disease.
Symptoms of chikungunya include sudden onset of high fever (>102⁰F), multiple joint pains, mainly in the arms and legs, headache, muscle pain, back pain and rash. Symptoms appear on average three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Most patients feel better after a few days or weeks, however, some people may develop long-term effects. Complications are more common in infants younger than a year old; those older than 65; and people with chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
“If you experience symptoms of chikungunya fever, such as high fever, rash, sever muscle joint pain following the bite of mosquitoes, consult with your health care provider immediately and protect yourself against further mosquito bites,” cautioned Dr. Alonso. A person infected with chikungunya should stay indoors as much as possible until symptoms subside to prevent further transmission.
Avoiding mosquito bites while you are sick will help to protect others from getting infected. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than two months.
Chikungunya fever rarely results in death; however, some individuals may experience persistent joint pain. There is currently no vaccine or medication to prevent chikungunya fever.
DRAIN standing water to stop mosquitoes from multiplying.
Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, buckets, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where sprinkler or rain water has collected.
Discard old tires, drums, bottles, cans, pots and pans, broken appliances and other items that aren't being used.