A New Virus may Make its way over to the United States - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

A New Virus may Make its way over to the United States

A new virus has hit the Caribbean and experts say they are worried about it coming to the United States.  

The virus, Chikungunya, is a mosquito borne virus and according to the CDC, has been confirmed in 15 states....including Arkansas.  

Dr. Jim Alexander with the Texas Department of Sate Health Services says the virus was originally only found in Africa, Southeast Asia, and Europe.  

But, starting in 2013, people in the Caribbean became infected by local mosquitoes.  

Now, the biggest concern to health officials is having the virus spread from the Caribbean.    

"There are 17 countries in the Caribbean and Northeast part of South America that have the virus established in their population," said Alexander.

The Virus is strictly a human and mosquito cycle as oppose to West Nile, which requires birds in order to amplify it. 

And although this is not a deadly virus, it is known to be very painful. There are headaches, fever, joint and muscle pain.
  
The pain is said to last for several weeks and right now there no vaccines or medications to treat the virus.  

Although no cases have popped up in the panhandle, health officials are keeping a close eye on this situation because we have such a large mosquito population.  


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