RARE VIRUS FOUND IN MONTGOMERY COUNTY

Montgomery County officials have confirmed their first case of the Chikungunya (CHIK-UN-GOON-YA) virus.

Jennifer Nichols-Contella, Public Information Officer for the Montgomery County Public Health District, says the patient is a male teenager from Montgomery County who has recently traveled outside of the United States.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, Chikungunya is a viral disease that is transmitted to people by a species of mosquito that bites mostly during the daytime. It was found for the first time in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean but is now being seen in other countries due to being imported by infected travelers.

The most common symptoms are fever and severe joint pain but headaches, muscle pain, joint swelling, and rashes are also being reported.

There are no antiviral medicines available to treat the Chikungunya however there are medicines to reduce the fever and pain. Most patients feel better within a week, but some people may develop longer-term joint pain.

Texas currently has five confirmed Chikungunya cases, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.