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June 20, 2014

First Oklahoma case of chikungunya virus confirmed

Oklahoma City — The Oklahoma Department of Health says a Tulsa County resident has tested positive for the chikungunya virus, the first confirmed case of the disease in the state.

Chikungunya is not indigenous to Oklahoma or the continental U.S. The Oklahoman resident who tested positive for the virus recently traveled to Haiti on a mission trip.

The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. The Health Department urges those considering traveling to any Caribbean island, South America, Africa or southeast Asia take extra precautions against mosquito bites.

Chikungunya virus was found for the first time in the Americas last year on islands in the Caribbean. Since then, outbreaks have occurred in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Cuba.

Symptoms include high fever and severe pain in multiple joints, headache, muscle pain, joint swelling and rash.

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