East TN Universities and Medical Pros On Alert Over Chikungunya Virus

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CHATTANOOGA,TN, (WDEF)-Dan Walker an epidemiologist at Hamilton County Health Dept says any visitor to the Americas or Caribbean who gets bitten by a mosquito could potentially be a Chikungunya carrier.

"Since they are infectious, a mosquito could bite that person become infected then bite another person locally and pass the disease on that way and so on and so forth causing local transmission"

The virus can led to skin rashes and even temporary loss of movement in your legs and arms.

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Nurse Sweitzer, Parkridge Medical Group,"The big thing is joint pain, fever with joint pain main thing seemingly the joint pain is very debilitating it can last a few days or up to weeks and months"

Lee University say more than 400 of their  students will be overseas in the coming months, many are on mission trips in the very countries with thousands of confirmed infections.

Mickey Moore, Lee University Health Services,"As part of the Lee program there are certain things they have to fulfil or requirements particularly physicals and be updated with their immunization such as measles mumps rubella as well as chicken pocks"

Nurse Sweitzer says there is still no cure for the virus which has been confirmed more than 170,000 times across the globe, mostly in second and third world nations.

"There are two different types of tests they can use right now, but unfortunately it takes days to weeks to determine if the patient has even had it"

Tennessee became the 12th state along with Rhode Island to confirm outbreaks.

The CDC say they are doing all they can to have those infected carriers who are returning from the America’s isolated to reduce further spreading in the US.

Both Lee and Southern Universities confirmed they will be reviewing all of their students who return from mission trips in the affected nations.

     The Health Dept and Parkridge Medical Group advise anyone who has been bitten by a mosquito while in the America’s or Caribbean to get medically examined as soon as possible.

http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/
http://parkridgemedicalgroup.com/
http://health.hamiltontn.org/
http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs327/en/

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