Alabama records first case of chikungunya

FILE - In this undated file photo provided byt he USDA, an aedes aegypti mosquito is shown on human skin. Guyana is reporting at least 12 more cases of the mosquito-borne virus chikungunya that causes severe joint pain and fever for many of its victims. Health Minister Bheri Ramsarran said late Wednesday, June 4, 2014 that the infections occurred near the border with Suriname and about 20 miles from where the first two cases were documented last week. According to the Centers for Disease Control the chikungunya virus is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, the same mosquitoes that transmit dengue virus. (AP Photo/USDA, File)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – The state Department of Public Health has confirmed the first case of a nasty mosquito-borne virus in Alabama.

Deputy director for medical affairs, Thomas Miller, says a Huntsville woman got chikungunya while traveling in Haiti. He says she was beyond the transmission stage when she returned to Alabama.

Chikungunya originated in Africa and appeared in the Caribbean last year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report cases of chikungunya have been recorded in all of Alabama’s neighboring states, but they were all acquired while traveling outside the United States. There have been no locally transmitted cases in the U.S., but the two types of mosquitoes that can spread the virus live in Alabama.

Health officials say the virus causes flu-like symptoms with a high fever and joint pain.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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