Second Case Of Chickungunya Confirmed In Tennessee

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Second Case Of Chickungunya Confirmed In Tennessee

CREATED Jun 20, 2014

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - State health officials have confirmed a second case of a new mosquito-borne illness in Tennessee.

A patient in the Knoxville area tested positive for chickungunya.

The first confirmed case was in Madison County, and officials said both patients had recently visited the Caribbean.

Chickungunya is a virus carried by mosquitos. It started appearing the Caribbean last year. Now, there's concern it could take hold in the U.S., just like West Nile.

Vanderbilt preventive medicine specialist Dr. William Schaffner said the issue is when people who have the virus come back to Tennessee. Then it becomes possible for a mosquito here to bite that person-- and then bite others, spreading it to them.

While rarely fatal, the symptoms of chickungunya are not pleasant.

“There's an awful lot of pain and fever and kind of aches in your joints for several days,” Dr. Schaffner said.

Testing of other patients suspected of having chickungunya is underway.