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.


Blood Assurance Donor Center Closed Saturday

The Blood Assurance donor center at 705 East 4 th  Street in Chattanooga will be closed this Saturday, for parking lot renovations. The lab and shipping departments will remain open. Normal hours will resume on Monday. The donor centers in Hixson, at 1920 Northpoint Boulevard, and Fort Oglethorpe, at 2720 Lafayette Road, are open on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.   ... (click for more)

Morning Pointe Residents Provide Lunch For Ronald McDonald House Residents

The residents at Morning Pointe of Hixson made a special visit to the Ronald McDonald house this week and provided lunch for the family members with loved ones in the hospital.  They provided homemade chicken salad croissants, chips, cookies and soft drinks for the family members to enjoy.  The seniors spent time interacting with the families and sharing stories before ... (click for more)

DA Looking Into Issue Of County Commission Candidate's Campaign Sending Filled-Out Request For Absentee Ballot To Elderly Voters

The District Attorney's Office has been provided with documents that a County Commission candidate's campaign sent filled-out requests for absentee ballots to elderly voters. Kerry Steelman, election administrator, said there have been four instances in which such requests came from the Elect John Brooks campaign. He said state law says in Section 2-6-202:  (3) A person ... (click for more)

Graham Says County School-City Lawsuit Settlement "Stinks," But County Commission Approves It

The County Commission on Wednesday approved a settlement of a lawsuit brought by the Hamilton County Schools against the city of Chattanooga, though several commissioners said they were not happy with the deal and Commissioner Joe Graham said it "stinks." Commissioner Graham was the lone no vote. He was joined by Commissioner Tim Boyd in a failed effort to defer it a week. ... (click for more)

The Truth From Weston’s Sister - And Response (2)

I try not to read the negative articles and opinions about my older brother. Growing up around politics, I learned a long time ago that thick skin is not only necessary, it’s paramount. But this time, the lies and the rumors and the inaccurate information has gone too far. It’s too ridiculous for me to ignore. So let’s clear a few things up: Weston and I do not “come ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Oscar Brock’s True Passion

I don’t pay much attention to the Hamilton County School Board. Once the moon and the stars aligned behind Superintendent Rick Smith, you hear very little, if anything, from the nine-member council that oversees an annual budget of almost $400 million and employs 4,480 people. So chew this for a minute: approximately 2,000 of those people are not teachers. Yes, there are 78 principals ... (click for more)