ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – St. Louis County has its first reported case of the mosquito-carried disease called Chikungunya, though it was not contracted in the area.
“There is no cause for panic, no cause for alarm,” says Dr. Faisal Khan, St. Louis County Health Department’s director of communicable disease control. “The virus and the reservoir of mosquitoes carrying the virus is not endemic to the Missouri area or the St. Louis area.”
Khan tells KMOX that the person did not contract Chikungunya in St. Louis.
“It was a travel-related illness, and this individual actually traveled to the Dominican Republic and picked up the illness there,” he says.
Khan says the mosquitoes that carry the disease are native to St. Louis and are present during daylight hours. The usual precautions should be taken when working outside.
“Most individuals who contract the illness recover spontaneously,” Khan says. “Some may experience bone and joint pain for weeks or even months on end. But, those are treated symptomatically with acetaminophen or ibuprofen.”
Khan says there is no vaccine against Chikungunya, and if you experience fever, joint and muscle pain, you should call your health-care provider.
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