New mosquito-borne virus in Tampa Bay area - WFLA News Channel 8

New mosquito-borne virus in Tampa Bay area

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A new mosquito borne virus is in the Tampa Bay Area. There have been 80 cases of the Chikungunya Virus in the U.S. One third of those are in Florida.

“It’s just a viral disease that they will get, they will feel terrible. It makes arthritis type symptoms, they feel very much joint pain,” said Gayle Guidash who is the Pinellas County Director of Disease Control and Health Protection.

There are three cases in Hillsborough County, and one in Pasco. So far no cases have been reported in Pinellas County.

“The cases that we’ve seen have been imported which means somebody took travel and they came back with the virus,” added Guidash.

Right now in the U.S., they have not seen the virus in mosquitoes but there is concern that will soon change as more and more people travel into the country with the virus. Most of the travelers are coming from the Caribbean.

“They need to isolate themselves from the outside because if they have the virus in their body, if a mosquito then bites them, they can be transmitted to others,” Guidash said.

In Pinellas County, they are monitoring traps and spraying. They’re asking everyone to clear out any standing water.

Aside from extreme cases, you won't die from the virus.

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