Outbreaks of a mosquito-borne illness called Chikungunya (pronounced CHICK-en-GUN-yeh) have been reported recently in the surrounding states of Indiana, Tennessee and North Carolina. Although there have been no confirmed reports of the virus yet in the Commonwealth, local health officials are hoping to educate the public on ways to avoid the disease. Keith Hall, Communications Director for the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department says while the department regularly sprays for mosquitoes, they recommend residents take some fairly simple precautions.
“One thing that you definitely want to do is mosquito-proof your home. You want to eliminate anything where standing water is possible. That’s where mosquitos breed. You want to get rid of tires, buckets, and barrels. If you have a pet, and you have an outdoor water dish, make sure that refresh that often. Same with bird baths. You’ll want to change the water every five-to-seven days”, advises Hall.
Symptoms of the disease, also known as “Chik-V”, include fever, rash, muscle aches and joint pain. Hall says while the virus is rare, anyone exhibiting symptoms should see their doctor immediately.