Crippling mosquito virus could be seen in California

Published 06/25 2014 06:32PM

Updated 06/25 2014 11:11PM

A certain type of mosquito known to carry a crippling virus has been found in California.

The virus is called "Chikungunya" and it's affecting hundreds of thousands of people in the Caribbean.

A local man who recently traveled to Haiti, caught the virus and has since recovered.

Health officials say the mosquitoes have been found in two counties, possibly three statewide.

The health department says these mosquitoes are different because they bite during the day.

"High fever, headache, severe joint pain and discomfort," said Kelly Lowery, who recently had the virus.

Lowery says those are the symptoms he experienced last week during a trip with nearly 50 people to Haiti, where they helped build a school for the less fortunate.

But while he was there, he caught the Chikungunya virus, a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes.

"We did wear bug spray. Most of the group and I would say that everybody got bit by mosquitoes while we were there," said Lowery.

Health officials say it's a new virus in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says as of June 17th, 80 cases have been reported in 13 states.

Officials say the virus is active in dozens of countries.

"This particular mosquito actually likes to bite in the daytime. So, now it's really important for persons to realize any given time they need to protect themselves from mosquito exposures," said Claudia Jonah, Kern County Public Health Department.

Health officials say the most common symptoms are fever and joint pain and recommend the public take precautions.

"It's good now to start making sure that all of your screens on your windows and doors are in good repair and that you get that taken care of to further decrease the chance of mosquitoes being able to get to you and causing a bite," continued Jonah.

Health officials say there is no medicine to treat the virus.

Officials say using mosquito repellent every day will help prevent any type of virus from being transmitted by mosquitoes.

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