Second NC case of mosquito-borne chikungunya virus confirmed in Alamance Co.

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BURLINGTON, N.C. — North Carolina’s second case of chikungunya was confirmed Wednesday in an Alamance County resident who recently traveled to the Caribbean.

According to the Alamance County Health Department, when the individual returned to the state they were symptomatic but no longer had the virus in their blood and could not spread the virus to mosquitoes in the community.

The first N.C. case of chikungunya was reported in Forsyth County earlier this month.

“After reviewing this case, we do not feel anyone in Alamance County is at risk because the time period in which mosquitoes could have been infected was over,” said Interim Health Director Stacie Saunders. “Right now, we want those traveling to the Caribbean or other affected areas to be aware of the virus and to protect themselves against mosquito bites.”

There is no medicine to treat chikungunya, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash.

Chikungunya does not often result in death, but the symptoms can be severe and disabling, the CDC says. Most people recover within a week but in some cases can experience joint pain that persists for months.

Symptoms typically begin three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.

To protect yourself and your family against mosquito bites, the Alamance County Health Department says:

  • Wear light colored long pants and long sleeve shirts.
  • Reduce time spent outdoors, particularly during early morning and early evening hours when mosquitoes are most active.
  • Apply EPA approved mosquito repellents such as DEET, picardin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535 to exposed skin areas.
  • Always follow guidelines when using mosquito repellent.
  • Since mosquitoes may bite through thin clothing, spraying clothes with repellent containing permethrin or another EPA registered repellent will give extra protection.

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