BROWNSVILLE, TX (KVEO NEWSCENTER 23) — The Brownsville City Health Department has added a new mosquito borne virus to its watch list, Na'Tassia Finley has more on what they're doing to prevent the spread of the Chikungunya virus.
Brownsville's Vector Control crews are closely monitoring yet another mosquito carried virus, the Chikungunya virus. Crews continue to conduct weekly surveillance trapping live mosquitoes and sending them to the State Health Department for testing.
This month the department has started using a new line of traps, in conjunction with the old, that they hope will provide them with more quality samples, helping them to better track mosquito activity.
The symptoms of the Chikungunya virus, which is found most commonly in the tropical Americas, are said to mimic those of Dengue fever, something health officials along the border are very familiar with.
Body aches and high fever are common in those who have contracted either virus with health issues lingering for about two weeks, City Health Department Manager Art Rodriguez, "It's carried by the same mosquitoes that Dengue, Aedes Aeygpti and the Tiger mosquito as well. So all the efforts that we currently have regarding efforts for Dengue are at the same time taken care of for the Chikungunya."
Officials say protecting yourself from this particular mosquito borne virus or any other , is the same, Art Rodriguez, "Always empty out any containers with water, any buckets, dress lightly at dusk and dawn, wear Deat, and probably more important thing, if mosquitoes are in the home, eliminate them."
So far, one human case of the Chikungunya virus has been reported off the East Coast this year, but being that the type of mosquito that carries the disease is native to deep South Texas, officials are taking precautions.