DALLAS (WFAA)-- Dallas County Health and Human Services confirmed the first local case of chikungunya virus Tuesday.
The case was imported, according to health department spokesperson Erikka Neroes, meaning the patient was infected during recent travel to the Caribbean.
No further patient information was released.
The chikungunya virus was discovered in Africa more than 60 years ago and was detected in the Caribbean late last year. About 135,000 people have been suspected or confirmed infected in the Western Hemisphere — mostly in the Caribbean — since last year, according to the Pan American Health Organization. It causes high fever and sudden, severe joint pain, and can also cause headache, muscle pain, and rash.
In June, national health officials warned an outbreak of the virus was possible in the U.S., where two mosquito species known to spread the disease are in abundance. The first case in Texas was discovered earlier this month in Travis County.
Chikungunya rarely results in death, but symptoms can be disabling, according to Dallas County Health and Human Services. There is no medication to treat the virus and there is no vaccine.
Health officials say the best way to protect yourself from the virus is to prevent mosquito bites.
Dallas County Health and Human Services advise the public to wear mosquito repellents with DEET, to dress in light-colored long sleeves and pants when outside, drain all standing water around their homes, and limit outdoor activities at dusk and dawn when mosquitoes are most active.
AUSTIN (KYTX)- The Texas Department of State Health and Services has confirmed seven Texas cases of chikungunya, a virus that can cause fever and severe joint pain and is transmitted by mosquitoes.
All cases have been imported, meaning that travelers have acquired the illness while visiting areas where the virus is more common.
However, those imported cases mean there is a potential for chikungunya to spread in Texas because the Aedes mosquitoes that transmit it are present in the state.
Cases have been confirmed in Bexar, Gonzales, Harris, Montgomery, Travis (2) and Williamson counties.