Mosquito Mayhem

First case of Chikungunya virus pops up in Dallas

First case of Chikungunya virus pops up in Dallas

The mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus has made its way to Dallas. The city reported its first human case on August 27.

The infected person, who lives in the 75214 zip code, has recently traveled to the Dominican Republic and is believed to have contracted the disease there. Dallas County Health and Human Services made the diagnosis.

Most common symptoms of Chikungunya include fever and joint pain. Some infected persons also report headaches, muscle pain and a rash. According to the CDC, there are no treatments or vaccines available for Chikungunya.

The disease is not passed person-to-person and can be transmitted by mosquito bites from only two species: Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, which are found in the southeastern United States and are most active during the daytime. 

Previous outbreaks of Chikungunya have occurred in Africa, Asia and Europe. The disease was first reported in the Americas in 2013 on the Caribbean islands. In July, Chikungunya arrived on the U.S. mainland with a case in Florida.

Because that infected person had not recently traveled to an area known for the virus, the CDC heightened its warning.

"Although CDC does not expect widespread cases of Chikungunya in the United States this summer, American travelers infected overseas may continue to return and bring the virus with them," the center said in a statement.

Mosquito that carries chikungunya virus
The Aedes aegypti mosquito is one of two species that can carry the Chikungunya virus. Photo courtesy of CDC