Last year there were eight cases of chikungunya reported in Mississippi and all cases were in international travelers from the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Puerto Rico.
Chikungunya is a risk to all travelers to the Caribbean as well as Central and South America.
Symptoms of chikungunya infection include fever, muscle and joint pain, and swelling of the joints. Deaths from chikungunya virus are rare, but anyone with a compromised immune system is at higher risk of complications from the infection.
Individuals who think they may be infected with chikungunya virus should see their healthcare provider and stay indoors for at least 10 days to avoid mosquito bites, as native Mississippi mosquitoes could spread the virus to other people.
MSDH State Epidemiologist Dr. Thomas Dobbs reminds Mississippians that the bigger threat here at home is West Nile virus. Last year, there were 43 cases of West Nile virus in Mississippi and seven deaths.
“West Nile virus is prevalent in Mississippi, and it's very important that you protect yourself from mosquitoes as we approach peak season beginning in July,” said Dr. Dobbs.
The MSDH suggests the following precautions to protect yourself and others from chikungunya and other mosquito-borne illness, including West Nile virus:
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