The state Department of Public Health has confirmed the first case of a nasty mosquito-borne virus in Alabama.
Deputy director for medical affairs, Thomas Miller, says a Huntsville woman got chikungunya (chik-in-GUHN'-yuh) while traveling in Haiti. He says she was beyond the transmission stage when she returned to Alabama.
Chikungunya originated in Africa and appeared in the Caribbean last year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report cases of chikungunya have been recorded in all of Alabama's neighboring states, but they were all acquired while traveling outside the United States. There have been no locally transmitted cases in the U.S., but the two types of mosquitoes that can spread the virus live in Alabama.
Health officials say the virus causes flu-like symptoms with a high fever and joint pain.