Mississippi investigates mosquito-borne virus

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — The Mississippi State Department of Health is investigating its first potential case of chikungunya (chik-en-gun-ye) virus, a mosquito-borne illness traditionally found in Africa and Asia.

State health officials said Tuesday the illness has shown up in a Mississippi resident who recently returned from Haiti. Symptoms include fever, muscle and joint pain and joint swelling. Deaths are rare, but officials say anyone with a compromised immune system is at a higher risk of complications from the infection.

Dr. Thomas Dobbs, the state's epidemiologist, says the virus is spread from person to person through the bite of the Aedes mosquito. He says infected Mississippians should stay indoors for at least 10 days and avoid mosquito bites from native Mississippi mosquitoes that could pick up the virus and spread it to others.

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