Health & Science

Texas Reports Another Chikungunya Case

It’s the first case in Texas of the unusual tropical virus for 2015. Chikungunya first arrived in the Americas last year.

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cdcgov_chikungunya-400px.png
CDC image of Chikungunya virus strain.

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne virus that’s typically not fatal, but the symptoms can linger for months or even years. It causes fever, severe joint pain and sometimes a rash. It’s now common in Central and South America and the Caribbean islands.

A new case in Dallas County brings the total there to nine infections, according to the state health department. Here in Harris County, another nine cases have been confirmed. All of the Texas cases are travel-related.

Harris County Public Health Department Executive Director Dr. Umair Shah says there could be a new crop of cases in Texas as people return from holiday travels.

“We wouldn’t be surprised if there are additional numbers, additional cases that are identified as we increase the awareness, as folks are traveling and they come back and present to their healthcare providers,” Shah said.

The Health Department monitors 40 mosquito traps across the county to test for the disease. So far, they’ve found one mosquito that initially tested positive, but those results are still being verified.

Florida is the only state that has reported Chikungunya cases not related to international travel.

 

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Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Executive Producer for News

Laurie Johnson leads daily news coverage for HPM. She helps reporters craft and sharpen their stories on tight deadlines, with the aim of getting the most relevant and current information into local newscasts. Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. She is...

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