INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO): Six more Hoosiers have tested positive for the chikungunya virus, making a total of seven reported cases in the state.
Transmitted by mosquitoes, chikungunya has been found in multiple Caribbean countries since December 2013 and according to the Indiana State Department of Health, the majority of individuals have confirmed travel to the Caribbean.
“Unfortunately, we did expect more cases in Indiana this summer with more Hoosiers traveling to the Caribbean for vacation, business or mission trips,” said Jennifer Brown, DVM, State Public Health Veterinarian at the Indiana State Department of Health. “If you are traveling to the Caribbean or other areas of the world where chikungunya is found, be sure to take precautions against mosquito bites.”
The Indiana State Department of Health continues to receive specimens for testing and continues its surveillance and investigation for any chikungunya cases in Indiana.
State health officials strongly recommend taking the following precautions to protect against any mosquito-borne viruses in Indiana and elsewhere:
· Avoid places where mosquitoes are biting, especially from late afternoon and dusk and dawn and early morning
· Apply insect repellent containing DEET or oil of lemon eucalyptus to clothes and exposed skin and reapply as directed
· Use mosquito netting if you have exposure to the outdoors while sleeping in high-risk areas
· Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home
· When possible, wear pants and long sleeves, especially if walking in wooded or marshy areas
The most common symptoms of chikungunya include high fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash. Most patients feel better within one week, but the joint pain can persist for months in some cases.