State confirms second case of tropical chikungunya virus
Posted June 25, 2014
Burlington, N.C. — Health officials on Wednesday confirmed the state’s second case of chikungunya in a resident who recently traveled to the Caribbean.
The tropical virus is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito and can cause sudden onset of fever and severe joint pain in the hands and feet.
The pain typically improves within a week, but it may last for months or years in some patients. In rare cases, patients have died.
Infected people can spread the virus to others through mosquito bites. Officials with the Alamance County Health Department said the person had symptoms when they returned from travel but no longer had the virus.
“After reviewing this case, we do not feel anyone in Alamance County is at risk because the time period in which mosquitos could have been infected was over,” Interim Health Director Stacie Saunders said. “Right now, we want those traveling to the Caribbean or other affected areas to be aware of the virus and to protect themselves against mosquito bites.”
The state reported its first ever case of infection on June 12, saying that person had also recently traveled to the Caribbean.
There are no documented cases of the virus being acquired in North Carolina or the continental United States, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. But the Asian tiger mosquito, which is common in North Carolina, could transmit the virus.