Tennessee Department of Health Warns Travelers of Chikungunya Virus

The Tennessee Department of Health is warning travelers to warm destinations to take precautionary measures against the chikungunya virus. Since last year, 43 Tennessee travelers to localities outside the state have contracted the painful virus which is rarely fatal but can cause fever, joint and muscle pain, headaches, fatigue and rash.

According to Health Commissioner John Dreyzehner, “Because there is no vaccine to prevent
chikungunya virus disease, the only way to prevent its spread is the effective use of repellants and personal protection strategies.”

Travelers should don protective clothing (long-sleeved shirts, long pants, hats) that is treated with insect repellent. When spending time outdoors, travelers should use insect repellents containing DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR3535, on exposed skin.