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No confirmed local cases of mosquito-borne virus


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Local health officials say there are no reports of Bartholomew County residents being diagnosed with the chikungunya virus, although there are 12 confirmed cases elsewhere in Indiana.

The virus, transmitted through mosquito bites, originated in the Caribbean, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The most common symptoms for the chikungunya virus are high fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms could include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash, according to the CDC. The virus is unlikely to result in death, but symptoms can be severe, it said.

Florida, New York and New Jersey have the most cases of the virus in the United States, according to federal officials. The CDC said Florida is the only state where the mosquito population is believed to have insects transmitting the virus.

Collis Mayfield, director of the Bartholomew County Health Department, said his office has received several calls about reported cases but said none are from Bartholomew County.

Outbreaks have occurred in Africa, Asia, Europe, and in regions near the Indian and Pacific oceans, the CDC said. In late 2013, chikungunya virus was found for the first time in the Americas on islands in the Caribbean. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat chikungunya virus infection, according to the CDC.

The confirmed Indiana cases include three in Marion and Allen counties, two in Hendricks and Washington counties, and one each in Johnson and Marshall counties, said Ken Severson, spokesperson for the state Department of Health.

All of the cases are travel-related, according to Severson, who said people with the virus had traveled to areas that have mosquitoes infected with the chikungunya virus.

Once someone is confirmed through lab testing to have the virus, Indiana law requires the results to be shared with the county health department immediately, Mayfield said.

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