San Antonio confirms case of Chikungunya virus

Saturday, July 26, 2014
By Paul Martin
July 25, 2014

SAN ANTONIO — The Centers for Disease Control have confirmed 5 cases of a potentially crippling mosquito-borne virus in Texas– and one of them is right here in San Antonio.

San Antonio Metro Health officials said the patient had traveled and contracted Chikungunya in the Carribbean and only developed the bone-aching symptoms when he returned home. SAMHD officials said a second possible case is under review that also involves another overseas traveler.

SAMHD Assistant Director Dr. Anil Mangla said Chikungunya isn’t normally fatal, but can linger for years in the body.

“There’s joint pain, fever, swelling of the joints and a rash,” Mangla said.

The CDC reports about two dozen infected travelers bring the virus to the United States each year.

Local doctors want to know if San Antonio’s patient–already exposed to Chikungunya–was then bitten by a local mosquito, because that mosquito could infect others and establish the virus in the Alamo city.

That’s already happened in Florida.

“So, it’s actually the life-cycle of this vector is: human to mosquito, mosquito to human, human to mosquito,” said Mangla.

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