JACKSON — The Mississippi State Department of Health is confirming one new human case of chikungunya (chih-kihn-GUHN’-yuh) virus.
Health officials say in a news release the newest case occurred in a resident who recently returned from the Dominican Republic.
This is the sixth human case reported in a Mississippi.
The five cases previously reported occurred in travelers to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
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.
Officials say the virus recently appeared in the Caribbean, and could possibly infect Mississippians who travel there.
Health officials say individuals who think they might be infected with chikungunya virus should see their health care provider.
In a related item, West Nile Virus has claimed its first Mississippi victim of 2014.
The state Department of Health said yesterday that a Yazoo County resident died from the mosquito-borne illness earlier this month, providing no further details about the victim.
The state is also reporting a new case of West Nile Virus in Wilkinson County. So far this year, seven cases of West Nile have been reported. Beyond the Wilkinson and Yazoo cases, one person apiece has been infected in Adams, Hinds and Newton counties. Two people have been infected in Rankin County.
The Department of Health only reports laboratory-confirmed cases to the public.
In 2013, Mississippi had 45 confirmed West Nile cases and five deaths. In 2012, the state had 247 cases and five deaths.