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Texas Reports First Case of Chikungunya Virus

Tom Ervin/Getty Images

The mosquito-borne virus with the weird name has now made its way into the Lone Star State.  A case of chikungunya (pronounced chicken goon yuh) has been confirmed in Williamson County, just north of Austin. 

The disease has its roots in the areas around the Caribbean and the victim in central Texas was recently traveling in that area. Chikungunya is rarely fatal, however, it certainly can make its presence known: symptoms such as severe joint pain, high fever, head and muscle aches, and rash can be seen on infected persons. Symptoms usually begin within a week of being bitten by a virus carrying mosquito. Sometimes the joint paint can be severe and can also linger for many weeks. Most of the other symptoms are gone within seven days.

The virus is not spread through direct person to person contact, however an outbreak in Texas could occur since the breed of mosquito that spreads this disease is present throughout the state. There have been no reports of the virus as of June 17th in the Mexican Yucatan Peninsula.

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