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More Chikungunya Virus Cases Showing up in US

Updated: 07/07/2014 6:37 PM
Created: 07/07/2014 4:20 PM KSTP.com
By: Cassie Hart

More cases of a new mosquito virus are starting to show up in the United States. So far, the Chikungunya virus has popped up in 27 states, including Minnesota.

Since July 1, more than 50 people have fallen ill to this unusual virus. The newest cases include the Boston area and Texas.

While the disease is rarely deadly, the symptoms are pretty awful.

"My joints were hurting really bad, I was like getting really out of breath and ah like having a fever, really dizzy and kind of out of it," said Ashley Manning of Georgia, who went on a mission trip to Haiti last month.

She got all her necessary shots and used mosquito repellant with DEET. However, she still got bit by an infected mosquito. Her symptoms flared up within days of arriving home.

Symptoms can include fever, headache, vomiting, rash, and joint pain. Most victims have recently returned from countries in the Caribbean.

Health officials say the biggest risk here is in the southeastern US. The most cases have been confirmed in Florida.

Doctors say since the disease can only be spread by mosquito bites, protecting yourself is easy. "Using mosquito repellent, repairing your screen so that mosquitoes are not coming in your house and getting rid of free standing water," said Dr. Richard Beser ABC's Chief Health and Medical Editor

Health officials say the biggest worry is mosquitoes here will begin to transmit the disease.

Photo: Wikipedia.com

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