DHEC confirms first case of 'Chikungunya' in Palmetto State

The first case of Chikungunya (chik-en-gun-ye) virus has been reported in South Carolina.

Those infected by the virus in the United States so far had recently traveled overseas.

In this case, the Upstate resident was diagnosed after returning from a trip to Haiti.

Traditionally, the virus is found in Africa and Asia, but it recently was identified in the Caribbean.

It's transmitted from person-to-person through mosquitoes.

Symptoms of Chikungunya are: headache, fever, rash, joint swelling or muscle pain.

he most effective way to protect yourself from Chikungunya is to protect yourself from being bitten by mosquitoes, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

The organization says to use a mosquito repellant using DEET while outdoors, remove all sources of standing water, especially around homes to prevent mosquito breeding, wear loose, light-colored clothing to cover arms and legs, avoid mosquito times such as dawn and dusk, and to change animal watering bowls regularly.

If you plan to travel to destinations where the virus has been reported, you should follow the steps listed above to avoid getting bitten.

If you have been infected, the virus will linger for about seven days.

During that time, DHEC says people should stay indoors to avoid spreading it to other mosquitoes that could infect someone else.

To learn more about the virus, click here