Health officials: Chikungunya virus likely to spread

Saturday, July 26, 2014
By Paul Martin

Mosquito-borne confirmed in Cabarrus

By Karen Cimino Wilson
Friday, July 25, 2014

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. – The mosquito-borne viral infection called chikungunya has spread quickly since it was first reported in the United States in December, including one case in Cabarrus County now, prompting health officials to say that mosquito control is the best defense against getting the illness.

On Tuesday, the Cabarrus Health Alliance confirmed its first case of chikungunya in a Cabarrus County resident who traveled to a Caribbean country. The virus is not life-threatening, but it makes individuals very sick for about two weeks, CEO and public health director William Pilkington said Thursday. North Carolina currently has 10 confirmed cases of chikungunya.

“It’s pretty reasonable to expect that it’s going to continue to spread as more mosquitoes become infected with it,” Pilkington said. “Some people have more problems than others, but it’s not a fatal illness by any means. It’s just a very uncomfortable couple of weeks.”

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