TN officials investigate mosquito-borne illness - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

TN officials investigate mosquito-borne illness

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More than 100,000 suspected cases of the illness have been reported in the Caribbean. (Graphic: MGN Online) More than 100,000 suspected cases of the illness have been reported in the Caribbean. (Graphic: MGN Online)
TENNESSEE (WAFF) -

Health officials in Tennessee are investigating the state's first potential case of a mosquito-borne illness that is currently widespread in the Caribbean.

According to the Tennessee Department of Health, multiple people who have traveled from Tennessee to the Caribbean are now showing symptoms of the chikungunya virus. More than 100,000 suspected cases of the mosquito-transmitted illness have been reported in the Caribbean.  

The virus is transmitted by daytime biting mosquitoes. Some of the symptoms of the illness include fever, joint and muscle pain, fatigue, rash and joint swelling.

Health officials said the risk is greater for the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems or those who have high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease. According to officials, the disease is not usually fatal.

Health officials urge people to use these tips to prevent mosquito bites:

  • Use insect repellant.
  • Do not use perfume, colognes or scented deodorants or soap if you're going outside as the fragrances may attract insects
  • Eliminate standing water near your home. Standing water can serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
  • Keep wading pools empty when not in use.
  • Replace water in bird baths weekly.
  • Keep windows and doors closed or covered with screens to prevent mosquitoes from entering your home.
  • Remember to wear loose-fitting clothes to prevent bites through fabric. Light-colored clothing is also less attractive to many insects and can make it easier to spot mosquitoes.

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