Update: Oklahoman diagnosed with debilitating virus spread through mosquitoes
TULSA, Okla. (CNN) – A debilitating mosquito-borne virus has made its way into North Carolina, causing experts to be concerned about the possibility of it spreading throughout the United States.
Authorities say the first case of the virus has been reported in Tulsa County.
We’re told the Oklahoman was on a mission trip to Haiti.
The Chikungunya virus is primarily found in Africa, East Asia and the Caribbean Islands.
Researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been paying close attention to this virus for fear that it will take hold of the United States.
Roger Nasci, chief of the CDC’s Arboviral Disease Branch in Division of Vector-Borne Diseases, says about 25 to 28 infected travelers bring it to the United States each year.
So far, 57 cases have been reported in the U.S.
Due to the outbreak of Chikungunya in the Caribbean this year, experts are concerned about the virus spreading across the United States.
This virus is not deadly, but it has the ability to be painful, with joint pain and arthritis-like symptoms lasting for weeks.
The elderly and those with weak immune systems are more likely to suffer from the virus’ side effects than those who are healthy.
The Chikungunya virus is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes.
These mosquitoes bite most often during the daytime and the disease can be transmitted from mosquito to human or human to mosquito.
Experts say you should use bug spray if you are going into a tropical or wooded area near water.
Also, get rid of standing water so mosquitoes can’t breed.
Currently, there is no vaccine and treatment consists of trying to relieve the joint pain and fever.