Texas' first case of chikungunya virus confirmed in Austin area

Case confirmed in Williamson County

By RJ Marquez

AUSTIN, Texas - The Texas Department of State Health Services has confirmed the state's first human case of a viral illness called Chikungunya that is spread to people by mosquitoes.

According to the Dallas Morning News, state health officials say the case involves a Williamson County resident, who recently returned to Texas after a trip to the Caribbean where the disease has been found in humans since 2013.

Health officials say the virus is rarely fatal, but can make patients sick with fever, headaches, vomiting, rashes, and cause joint pain that could last for months.

A total of 27 states have confirmed cases of the chikungunya virus, but health officials say the biggest risk is in the southeastern part of the United States.  

Florida has had the most confirmed cases, and there is no medication or vaccine at the present moment.

Health officials say the best way to prevent the virus is by avoiding mosquito bites.

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