Cases of mosquito-borne virus in our area

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Chikungunya can cause fever and severe joint pain. (WPVI)

Cases of the newest mosquito-borne virus are on the rise in our area.

Along with testing for West Nile Virus, some counties in New Jersey are now testing mosquitoes for the Chikungunya virus.

25 cases have been reported this year in New Jersey, 12 in Pennsylvania and 1 in Delaware - all have been contracted from mosquitoes in the Caribbean.

Signs have gone up at Philadelphia International Airport warning travelers to protect themselves.

The virus is typically not fatal, but it can be debilitating. Symptoms include fever, muscle pain and severe joint pain. On average they appear three to seven days after being bit by an infected Asian Tiger mosquito.

So far, no mosquitoes in our area carry the virus, but there is concern that could change.

Greg Williams, Ph.D. Hudson County mosquito control, tells us, "People coming back from the Caribbean with the virus, get bit by a mosquito here and could carry it to other people."

So far, that's not the case. But we do know mosquitoes here carry West Nile Virus.

New Jersey reported its first human case this season in a 49-year-old in Gloucester County who likely got infected while doing yard work.

Pennsylvania also reported its first human case - a man in Philadelphia.

Both residents are now recovering.

The best way to prevent any mosquito-borne illness is by not getting bit. Use bug spray, wear sleeves, and monitor your yard by eliminating standing water.

August is typically the peak time for West Nile Virus but the season goes into October, so be sure to keep your guard up.

And if you go to the Caribbean use bug spray during the day and the evening, because the mosquitoes carrying Chikungunya are out during the day.

Related Topics:
healthhealthcheckhealthmosquito
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