New Mosquito-borne Virus Hits GA, FL - Houston County Health Department on Alert

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There is a new mosquito-borne virus in the U.S., meaning you should take precaution.

There aren't any cases reported in Alabama yet but there are in Florida, Georgia and Tennessee.

The virus is called Chikungunya.

It's been spreading in the Caribbean since last year, so they think tourists could be bringing it into the U.S.

The two species of mosquitoes it's being spread by usually bite during the day.

The disease is transferred from mosquitoes to people.

You can also get it from other people in the early stages.

That's when you would have a high fever and rash.

In the next stage, you would experience joint and muscle pain like arthritis.

The virus isn't deadly, but symptoms can last anywhere from two to three days or a lot longer.

Houston County's Environmental Supervisor says it seems to affect the older population more.

"Being that we're close to major ports, major air fares where people come in and out from out of the country and world travel - Yes we're concerned. It's a disease that doesn't have any specific treatment or a vaccine that makes it a little worse,” Houston Co. Environmental Supervisor Doug Turnbull said.

Since there's no vaccine or medicine to treat the infection, they're asking people to wear mosquito repellant anytime they go outdoors.

They also recommend draining any water containing materials around your home, disposing of anything that can hold water and making sure your screens are in good shape.