Just days after reported their first West Nile virus case of 2014, the Dallas County Health and Human Services (DCHHS) has confirmed the first case of imported Chikungunya virus (CHIKV)  in 2014. The patient was infected with the virus during recent travel to the Caribbean, and was diagnosed after returning to Dallas County. For medical confidentiality and personal privacy reasons, DCHHS does not provide additional identifying information.

Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is transmitted to people by mosquitoes. The virus causes high fever and severe joint pain that start suddenly. It can also cause headache, muscle pain and rash. CHIKV does not often result in death, but the symptoms can be disabling, and some people may get severe complications. There is no specific medication available to treat CHIKV and there is not a vaccine. Avoiding mosquito bites is the key to avoid CHIKV.

DCHHS advises the public to use the ‘4Ds’ to help reduce the chance of being bitten by a mosquito infected with Chikungunya.

  1.  DEET All Day, Every Day: Whenever you’re outside, use insect repellants that contain DEET, picaridin or oil of lemon eucalyptus.
  2.  DRESS: Wear long, loose and light-colored clothing outside.
  3. DRAIN: Remove all areas of standing water in and around your home.
  4. DUSK & DAWN: Limit outdoor activities during dusk and dawn hours when mosquitoes are most active.