People at risk for more severe disease include newborn infants, adults over age 65 and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes or heart disease. There is no specific treatment for chikungunya. Treatment consists of supportive care for relief of fever and joint pain. Currently, there is no vaccine.
Unlike West Nile virus infection, chikungunya can be transmitted from a sick person to a healthy person by the bite of an infected mosquito. Infected persons are advised to avoid exposure to mosquitoes during the first week of illness. Chikungunya is not transmitted from direct person to person contact.
“If you have recently traveled to the Caribbean and believe that you have symptoms of chikungunya, visit your health care provider and tell them about your travel history,” said Dr. Brown.
State health officials encourage Hoosiers to take the following steps to rid their properties of potential mosquito breeding grounds:
• Discard old tires, tin cans, plastic containers, ceramic pots or other containers that can hold water;
• Repair failed septic systems;
• Drill holes in the bottom of recycling containers left outdoors;
• Keep grass cut short and shrubbery trimmed;
• Clean clogged roof gutters, particularly if leaves tend to plug up the drains;
• Frequently replace the water in pet bowls;
• Flush ornamental fountains and birdbaths periodically; and
• Aerate ornamental pools, or stock them with predatory fish.