A New Mosquito Virus

Public Health officials in Kansas are warning the public about a new virus you can get through mosquito bites.

This one comes from an unusual place for people to worry about in Kansas.

The new virus comes out of the Caribbean.

While seven confirmed case has been found in the US so far, they’re already testing mosquito’s here.

Much like the more widely known West Nile Virus, the Chikungunya virus shows up as fever, headaches, joint swelling and a rash.

“So we definitely want people to be aware that you know this could potentially be an issue this year and they need to protect themselves,” Amiee Rosenow with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said.

Because mosquito’s breed in ponds and stagnant water, this spring’s rains are contributing to the threat.

There are ways you can prevent yourself from getting bitten.

The most common way is by using insect repellant.

“For several years now I’ve used ‘Off’, um it literally works for me if I follow the directions,” Topeka resident Lenora Lewis said.

You can also wear protective clothing if your going to be outdoors and drain any standing water.

Make sure you dump the water out of any kiddy pools or buckets around your house, it’s the breeding environment for mosquitoes.

So far this year there hasn’t been any reported cases of someone contracting the West Nile Virus in the state of Kansas.

But the safety tips for this new mosquito-borne virus also works against West Nile.

In 2012 there were 57 cases in the state and in 2013 there were 92.

When you buy insect repellant make sure it contains ‘Deet,’ it’s the ingredient that help keep those mosquitoes away.

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