Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

June 19, 2014

New virus on the horizon?

Officials have tested for Chikungunya in state

ASHLAND — A new mosquito-borne virus may have many Kentucky residents bringing out all the tricks in repelling the pesky insects.

The mosquito-born Chikungunya virus, also known as “chik-v,” has been reported in 15 U.S. states, including Virginia and Indiana. Though no cases have been confirmed in Kentucky, several cases have been taken under investigation.

Kristy Bolen, senior regional epidemiologist for the Ashland-Boyd County Health Center, has not heard of any cases in the immediate area.

Bolen believes this new virus will spread similarly to that of the West Nile virus.

“We watched (the West Nile virus) develop in the Northeast and slowly make its way toward western areas. I believe it will have similar progression,” she said.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, mosquitos carrying this virus are mainly found in the Caribbeans or underdeveloped countries with poor sanitation.

Bolen said those from Kentucky who are being tested for Chikungunya have recently been on trips overseas where mosquitos carrying the virus are prominent.

According to the CDC, when traveling to countries with Chikungunya virus, individuals should use insect repellent, wear long sleeves and pants and stay in places with air conditioning or that use windows and door screens.

“I always tell people to make sure they wear long sleeves and mosquito repellent when they go to underdeveloped countries,” Bolen said.

Chikungunya virus has occurred in Africa, Southern Europe, Southeast Asia and islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. In late 2013 the virus was found for the first time on the islands of the Caribbean.

Though Chikungunya is rarely fatal, the most common symptoms are fever and severe joint pains, often in the hands and feet. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash. The symptoms usually appear within a few days of the bite and pain can persist for weeks or months after infection.

The virus is not transmitted from human to human a person will only become infected when bitten by an infected mosquito. And the mosquito picks up the virus when it bites human who is infected. As of now, Kentucky’s mosquito population seems uninfected, but could change in the future.

People at increased risk for the disease include newborns exposed during delivery, senior adults more than 65 years old and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease, according to the CDC.

According to the CDC, at this point there is no vaccine to prevent Chikungunya. But there are medicines to help reduce the fever and pain.

The CDC suggests to see your doctor if you think you or a family member might have Chikungunya.

“The biggest thing people can do is protect themselves,” Bolen said.

MARY ALFORD can be reached at malford@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2657.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0723bcfair0083.jpg Boyd County Fair in full swing

    Arriving at the Boyd County Fairgrounds last night, ears were filled with the sounds of children’s laughter, grown-up chatter and the screams of those individuals brave enough to partake of the weathered rides.

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos

  • Cans, trailer and moving dollies reported stolen to APD

    A thief targeted recyclables in a heist at the Pollard Place group home Friday.

    July 22, 2014

  • McConnell co-sponsors bill to protect correctional officers

    U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell co-sponsored legislation to help protect correctional officers and staff at Federal Bureau of Prison facilities.

    July 22, 2014

  • School discrimination suit settled

    A former Greenup County schools custodian has settled his federal racial discrimination suit against the school district, but the terms will not be made public.

    July 22, 2014

  • Family trip detour provides military thrill for 10-year-old

    Jeremy Crawford’s idea of a good time is a seat beside his papaw, watching their favorite World War II movies.

    July 22, 2014

  • Highlands marks year of progress

    This time last year, the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center was facing an eviction notice. Now, the museum is celebrating a year’s worth of progress where not only does it have ownership of its Winchester Avenue building, but is seeing an upswing in exhibition attendance.

    July 22, 2014

  • First lady recognizes Morehead

    Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear said Morehead’s achievement in finally reaching Trail Town certification exemplifies the strength and dedication of the small town community during her address Tuesday at the Rowan County Arts Center.

    July 22, 2014

  • Local in brief: 7/23/14

    The inaugual Ride for Autism will be Aug. 23, starting and ending at Callihan’s American Pub & Grill at the Kyova Mall, including a stop at Carter Caves State Resort Park.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723trailtown.jpg First lady recognizes Morehead Trail Town status

    Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear said Morehead’s achievement in finally reaching “Trail Town” certification exemplifies the strength and dedication of the small town community during her address Tuesday at the Rowan County Arts Center.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • McConnell co-sponsors bill to protect correctional officers

    U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell co-sponsored legislation to help protect correctional officers and staff at Federal Bureau of Prison (BOP) facilities.

    July 22, 2014