Iowa Sees First Chikungunya Virus Case

DES MOINES, Iowa — The Iowa Department of Public Health says a central Iowa man returned from the Caribbean with the Chikungunya virus.

Health officials say it’s the first time Iowa has seen the common mosquito-borne illness. They didn’t identify the man but did say he was between 18- and 40-years-old.

The disease has been known since the 1950s but is spreading to new parts of the world including the Caribbean.

“Since the Caribbean is a popular vacation area, it is likely the number of imported Chikungunya cases into the U.S. will grow as travelers bring the virus home,” IDPH Deputy State Epidemiologist Ann Garvey said in a statement.

The man was not hospitalized and is currently recovering.

Symptoms include fever, joint pain, headaches, muscle pain, joint swelling or a rash. Health officials say most people recover within a week.

Nearly 700 cases of Chikungunya have been reported across the country. All but six of the cases have stemmed from visits to the Caribbean or South America.

 

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