CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state DHHR is waiting on some final tests to confirm the first case in West Virginia of the mosquito-borne illness chikungunya virus.
The agency said the person infected traveled to one of the countries where the virus is widespread. The virus has come to the U.S. through the Caribbean from Africa, Asia, and the islands in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific.
“Travelers to these countries have carried the chikungunya virus back to the United States,” said Dr. Letitia Tierney, State Health Officer and Commissioner for the Bureau for Public Health said in a news release. “It is possible that local mosquito populations could be infected. Currently, we have one suspected case in West Virginia from a traveler to an endemic country.”
Test results from the CDC will confirm whether the suspected case is chikungunya.
Dr. Tierney said symptoms include a fever, severe joint pain in the hands and feet, headaches and in some cases a rash. The symptoms usually come three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.