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QOD: What is chikungunya virus, and is my child at risk?

You may have heard in news reports of the “chikungunya virus,” a mosquito borne illness that is rapidly spreading across the United States recently. Experts think travellers who have recently returned from the Caribbean—where the virus is rapidly spreading—have introduced this viral infection to the US.

So far, there are at least five reported states of confirmed cases, including Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, Nebraska, and Indiana. Symptoms include spiking fevers, painful joints, and headaches, which occur within 3-7 days after a bite by an infected mosquito.

The symptoms usually subside within a week without treatment, and there is no vaccine to prevent the illness. Seek medical care if your child has these symptoms after a mosquito bite, although many other viral illnesses can cause similar symptoms.

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