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Health officials confirm chikungunya in Cabarrus

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KANNAPOLIS, NC (AP) - Cabarrus County health officials have confirmed the county's first case of chikungunya, saying the patient was infected while traveling in a Caribbean country.

There have been nine other cases in North Carolina. In each instance, the person infected had traveled to the Caribbean.

Chikungunya can be transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes, and symptoms usually begin three to seven days after being bitten. They typically include fever and severe joint pains. Many patients feel better within a week, but newborns exposed during delivery, adults over 65 years old and people with chronic medical conditions have a greater risk for a severe form of the disease.

Tamara Staehler of Cabarrus Health Alliance said treatment involves trying to make the infected person as comfortable as possible through rest, fluids and over-the-counter medications.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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