Chikungunya mosquito virus affects two people in New Hampshire

In Concord, New Hampshire, public health officials have noted today that mosquitoes carrying a virus called Chikungunya have arrived with two confirmed cases.

The virus, which can only be spread from an injection from the insects, has already been afflicting those in Latin America and the Caribbean. Concord’s currently only dealing with two residents that have the virus, and neither of them received it in New Hampshire. Instead, the two had visited the Caribbean recently and obtained the Chikungunya virus there.

This virus causes extremely irritating symptoms such as joint pain and swelling, muscle pain, fever, headaches, and rashes. Although it’s not necessarily a fatal virus in most instances, sufferers experience strong discomfort.

Thus far, only those two Concord residents have been diagnosed with Chikungunya in New Hampshire. However, nearby in Rhode Island, two other residents were infected, and in Massachusetts, four people were affected.

According to health officials that spoke to CBS Boston as well as the Department of Health and Human Services, no one in New Hampshire can catch the virus, as it isn’t spread there.

The Chikungunya virus has actually existed since 1952, when the first diagnosed cases were recorded in Tanzania. It reappeared in 2013, where it spread to areas like the Caribbean. Thus far, it hasn’t reached the United States beyond those secluded cases.

According to doctors, if a person has been bitten by a mosquito and believes that they have the Chikungunya virus, they should seek medical care immediately. Dr. Jose Montero, a public health director, notes that people traveling to the Caribbean or Latin America should be especially careful to avoid mosquito bites.