Chikungunya Spreads to Houston

HOUSTON, Texas--The virus Chikungunya has reportedly spread to Houston, Texas. Earlier this month a case of the illness was discovered in Austin. 

A Harris County resident who recently traveled internationally is confirmed as having the disease, according to Click 2 Houston. A doctor told the local media outlet, "Many of our residents travel abroad for pleasure and business, so we’re not surprised to learn that someone from our area has been infected with Chikungunya. Prevention remains key."

Earlier in July, Breitbart Texas reported that the first ever human instance of Chikungunya was confirmed the Texas:

A Williams County resident near Austin, Texas was diagnosed with the disease after returning home from a Caribbean vacation, reports the Dallas News.

While chikungunya is rarely fatal, it can cause high fever, muscle and head aches, joint swelling and severe joint pain.

The virus does not spread from person to person contact, but instead is spread by mosquitoes who transmit the virus from human to human with a bite. According to theDallas News, the type of mosquitoes that help spread chikungunya are common in Texas.

Almost all of the 114 reported U.S. cases of Chikungunya have resulted from travel to countries where the disease has spread. According to the Pan American Health Organization, these countries include Puerto Rico, Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

State officials are encouraging travelers to use insect repellent every time they are outdoors, wear long sleeved shirts and pants and avoid standing water where mosquitoes can breed.

The virus was first found in the Americas earlier last year--most specifically it was discovered on Caribbean islands. 

At this point it is unclear what measures are being taken to prevent the virus from spreading further in the U.S. 

Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate


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