In more mosquito news…We have been waiting for this for some time and now it has finally occurred. For the first time, a locally acquired case of chikungunya has been reported in Texas. Chikungunya, what!?!?!?! (A mouthful yes, but it is going to be one of the many mosquito illnesses that become endemic in the US…so learn how to pronounce it!)
Chikungunya is transmitted to people via the bite of an infected mosquito — most often an Aedes aegypti or A. albopictus — and can cause severe joint pain that can last for months or even years, although most patients fully recover. The mosquito, A. aegypti, is also is the primary vector for the Zika and dengue virus.
The case occurred with a resident from Cameron County who had no history of travel. They became sick with the mosquito borne virus last November and was diagnosed with a lab test in January, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). The case was not reported to the DSHS until April, the department said. It was confirmed by the CDC last week. Quite a time lag hey???
Until now, all reported cases of chikungunya in Texas — including 43 in 2015 — were acquired in other countries. In fact, all 679 reported cases of the illness in the United States last year were related to travel, according to CDC numbers published in January.
Chikungunya has been spreading around the world. First from Africa to Europe and more recently from South America, to the Caribbean and now into the United States.