(TULSA) - The first patient in Oklahoma has tested positive for the chikungunya virus.
Doctors say the Tulsa County resident recently traveled to Haiti on a mission trip and must have been bitten by an infected mosquito.
The disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. Doctors told the victim to stay indoors to avoid mosquitoes that could spread the virus here.
State and county health leaders are working with the family and mission trip sponsors to find out if more people in the mission group have become ill with Chikungunya Fever.
The chikungunya virus was found for the first time in the Americas in 2013 on islands in the Caribbean. Since then, the disease has spread rapidly.
Cases have now been identified in 22 Caribbean and two South American countries posing a greater risk of exposure to tourists and mission workers.
“Persons developing symptoms of chikungunya, such as high fever, joint pain, and body aches within seven days after returning from an area with chikungunya,” said Oklahoma State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley.
Chikungunya isn’t usually deadly, but the symptoms can be painful.
Most patients feel better within one week, but the joint pain can persist for months to years in some cases.