Protect Yourself From Chikungunya

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department urges residents to take steps to prevent chikungunya infection. The Health Department is investigating suspected cases in Hamilton County in people who recently traveled to the Caribbean. The Tennessee Department of Health confirmed the state’s first case of chikungunya last week in a Madison County resident who also visited the Caribbean. Chikungunya is a virus transmitted to people by mosquitoes. The most common symptoms of infection are fever and joint pain.

Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites.

According to the CDC, chikungunya was found for the first time in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean in late 2013. The virus is now widespread in the Caribbean and cases have been reported in countries in Africa and Southeast Asia.

Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person already infected with the virus. Infected mosquitoes can then spread the virus to other people through bites. Chikungunya is most often spread to people by Aedes mosquitoes, a species found in Tennessee. They bite mostly during the daytime, but may also bite at night. To date, there is no evidence of transmission of chikungunya in Tennessee. Those most at risk are travelers returning from the Caribbean or other areas where chikungunya is present.

Symptoms and treatment: There is no medicine to treat chikungunya infection or disease. Most patients feel better within a week. In some people, the joint pain may persist for months. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.

Although deaths are rare, those most at risk include the elderly, those with compromised immune systems, and those who have high blood pressure, diabetes and/or heart disease. People at risk for more severe disease include newborns infected around the time of birth, older adults (=65 years), and people with medical conditions.
?- Most people infected with chikungunya will develop some symptoms.
?- Symptoms usually begin 3–7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
?- The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain.
?- Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.
?- To prevent further spread of the virus, it is important for people who are ill with or suspected    of being ill with chikungunya to avoid mosquito bites during the first week of illness.

Prevention:
? - Use air conditioning or window/door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.
? - If you are not able to protect yourself from mosquitoes inside your home or hotel, sleep under a mosquito bed net.
? - Help reduce the number of mosquitoes outside your home or hotel room by emptying standing water from containers such as flowerpots or buckets.
? - When weather permits, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants.
? - Do not use perfumes, colognes or scented deodorants or soap if you’re going outside, as fragrances may attract insects.
?-  Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). You can buy pre-treated clothing and gear or treat them yourself:
        o Treated clothing remains protective after multiple washings. See the product information to find out how long the protection will last.
?- Use insect repellents with the following active ingredients:
        o DEET (Products containing DEET include Off!, Cutter, Sawyer, and Ultrathon)
        o Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin product containing picaridin include Cutter Advanced, Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus, and Autan [outside the US])
        o Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or PMD (Products containing OLE include Repel and Off! Botanicals)
        o IR3535 (Products containing IR3535 include Skin So Soft Bug Guard Plus Expedition and SkinSmart)

Always follow product directions and reapply as directed. If you are also using sunscreen, apply sunscreen first and insect repellent second. Follow package directions when applying repellent on children.  Avoid applying repellent to their hands, eyes, and mouth.

If you have recently traveled to affected areas and believe you might have chikungunya, contact your health care provider immediately, especially if you have a fever. Tell your doctor about your travel. You should also notify the Health Department at 209-8190.

For more information, visit the CDC http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/index.html.

For travel health advisories, visit http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices.


Alexander: New FDA Cancer Center Brings “Exactly The Kind Of Coordination Necessary” To Get More Individualized Treatments And Cures To Patients

Senate health committee Chairman Lamar Alexander said Wednesday that Vice President Biden’s announcement of a new Oncology Center of Excellence at the Food and Drug Administration brings “exactly the kind of coordination necessary” to get more individualized treatments and cures to patients. “This new center of excellence is exactly the kind of FDA coordination the Senate health ... (click for more)

Alexander: Darin Gordon Helped Transform TennCare Into One Of The Country’s Most Fiscally Responsible Medicaid Programs

Senator Lamar Alexander Wednesday praised the “tireless” service of Darin Gordon, Tennessee’s longest-serving TennCare director, who will be stepping down from the position after more than a decade of service:                                                   ... (click for more)

County Commission Gives Up Fight On $900,000 In Discretionary Funds

County Commission members have given up the fight for the annual $900,000 in discretionary funds. Commission Chairman Chester Bankston said there was not enough money available after requests from a number of agencies and departments were cut to balance the budget without a tax increase. Commissioner Sabrena Smedley said the fact that commissioners can no longer allot the ... (click for more)

Bridge Repair Over 12th Street To Cause Temporary Lane Closure On US 27

While investigating a pothole in the bridge on U.S. 27 North over 12 th Street in the construction zone, crews discovered a potential weak spot in the bridge deck that could over time result in more damage to the bridge deck.  For the safety of the traveling public, the outside lane in this area will be closed until the contractor makes necessary repairs, TDOT officials ... (click for more)

A Disturbing Trend At Exit 11 - And Response (2)

So, am I the first to notice a trend?   How many wrecks does exit 11 need before anyone asks "whats up with that?"  I have lost count of the wrecks that continue to happen, even after last year's awful loss of life (which I believe 51 percent of the blame should fall on the THP officer on duty).  The problem with this section of interstate are sight lines ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Story You Won’t See

In a puzzling time when the big daily newspapers have veered strongly away from “all the news that is fit to print,” allow me to share a story that you very likely will not see on CNN, ABC News, or in the big media conglomerates that influence the way you think, the way you react and – as a result – easily warp our common senses. This story is very true. Late last Sunday afternoon, ... (click for more)