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Confirmed case of a mosquito borne virus in Anderson County

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By Shelley Spillman

There is confirmed case of Chikungunya, a mosquito borne virus, in Anderson County, according to the Anderson County Health Department.

The sample was released by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and confirmed to be the first case of Chikungunya statewide Tuesday morning. An Anderson County resident who recently traveled to the Caribbean reportedly contracted the virus.

According to the CDC, Chikungunya, also known as ChikV, was first found last year in the Caribbean. Symptoms of this virus include fever, headache, joint pain, muscle pain, joint swelling and rash.

Lesia D. Chaffins, regional epidemiologist, said in press release that though there is no vaccine currently for this virus, it only carries an immediate risk for local residents who plan to travel to a region where the ChikV virus is present. Areas where the ChikV virus has been found include Africa, Asia and the Caribbean. Locally, mosquitoes do not carry the ChikV virus, and Chaffins said the virus cannot be spread from person to person.

Chaffins issued the following tips to travelers:

•Wear long sleeves and pants.

•Install secure screens to windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out.

•Use an insect repellent.

•Stay indoors with air conditioning.

•Keep water barrels, cisterns and water tanks covered with a lid.

• Empty standing water in old tires, tin cans, bottles, trays, etc.

•Clean out clogged gutters and flat roofs where water may have settled.

•Change water frequently in pet water dishes, bird baths and plant trays.

•Trim weeds and tall grasses, where mosquitoes seek shade on hot days.

For more information, contact the Anderson County Health Department at 502.839.4551 or visit the CDC website at www.cdc.gov.