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Palm Beach County Prepares For Chikungunya

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Palm Beach County is now joining efforts to fight the mosquito-transmitted virus known as Chikungunya, which so far has infected one person in the county and 10 people total in the state.

The virus is rarely fatal but symptoms can include chronic pain that lasts for years.

“Look at your house, environment, make sure that you don´t have any standing water," says Tim O´Connor, spokesman for the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County. "If you do, drain it off as much as possible.”   

He says precautions stay the same for any mosquito-related virus.  O'Connor says water can collect and create mosquito breeding pools in spots like grill covers, pool water, flower pots and even soda cans.

Wearing long sleeves and long pants can also prevent mosquito bites.

O´Connor says the virus is under control locally. The main concern is for people who travel to the Caribbean.  

“Especially the island of Hispañola, where we have seen the most cases," he says. "If they do experience symptoms, like, when they come back to the United States, they should report to their physicians.”

Palm Beach County health officials are attending a two-day seminar about mosquito control sponsored by the University of Florida at the Florida Medical Entomology Lab in Vero Beach.