Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) has confirmed the seventh case of imported Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) in Dallas County. The patient was infected with the virus during recent travel to Honduras.
The Honduras has seen more than 4,000 autochthonous, or locally acquired chikungunya cases as of Dec. 29. As of Dec. 16, the state of Texas reported 64 chikungunya cases, all imported or travel associated.
More than 2,000 travel associated chikungunya cases were reported in 2014, up from an average of 28 cases in each of the eight previous years.
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. It can cause high fever, join and muscle pain, and headache. Chikungunya does not often result in death, but the joint pain may last for months or years and may become a cause of chronic pain and disability.
There is no specific treatment for chikungunya infection, nor any vaccine to prevent it. Pending the development of a new vaccine, the only effective means of prevention is to protect individuals against mosquito bites.