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Allen Co. Resident Tests Positive for Mosquito-Borne Chikungunya Virus

An Allen County resident, who recently traveled to the Caribbean, has tested positive for the chikungunya virus.

Transmitted by mosquitoes, chikungunya has been found in multiple Caribbean countries. Cases have been identified in travelers returning from the Caribbean and local transmission has not been identified in the United States. Chikungunya has also been found in Africa, Asia and islands in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific areas.

State Public Health Veterinarian Jennifer Brown, DVM, says the epidemic in the Caribbean was expected to cause some travel-related cases.  She urges precautions against mosquito bites at home and while traveling.

While the Chikungunya risk for Hoosiers who have not traveled to the Caribbean is low, state health officials recommend the following to protect against mosquito-borne viruses like West Nile virus and St. Louis Encephalitis:

   - Avoid places where mosquitoes are biting;
   - Apply insect repellent containing DEET, picaradin or oil of lemon eucalyptus to clothes and exposed skin;
   - Install or repair screens on windows and doors to keep mosquitoes out of the home; and,
   - When possible, wear pants and long sleeves, especially if walking in wooded or marshy areas.

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