Health officials confirm case of chikungunya fever in Jacksonville

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Health officials in Duval County confirmed a case of chikungunya fever Friday.

The case involves a 49-year-old female who recently traveled out of the country, according to a release from the Florida Department of Health in Duval County .

Chikungunya fever is spread by bites from infected mosquitoes. If a person is infected and bitten by a mosquito, that mosquito may later spread the infection by biting another person.

"Avoiding mosquito bites is the key to preventing infection with chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases," said Dr. Kelli Wells, Director of the Florida Department of Health in Duval County. "Floridians and visitors are encouraged to take precautionary measures to help reduce the chance of being bitten. Remember to drain and cover."

If you experience symptoms of chikungunya fever, consult with your health care provider immediately and protect yourself against further mosquito bites. Avoiding mosquito bites while you are sick will help to protect others from getting infected.

The the Florida Department of Health offers the following tips to avoid mosquito bites:

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.
  • Empty and clean birdbaths and pet's water bowls at least once or twice a week.
  • Protect boats and vehicles from rain with tarps that don't accumulate water.
  • Maintain swimming pools in good condition and appropriately chlorinated. Empty plastic swimming pools when not in use.

COVER skin with clothing or repellent.

  • Wear shoes, socks, long pants and long-sleeves.
  • Apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing.
  • Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus and IR3535 are effective.

COVER doors and windows with screens to keep mosquitoes out.

Keep mosquitoes out of your house. Repair broken screens on windows, doors, porches, and patios.

Symptoms include high fever, severe joint pain in the arms and legs, headache, back pain and rash. The symptoms appear between three to seven days after being bitten.

More: Chikungunya virus | CDC


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