Drain any standing water on your property and wear repellent with the chemical Deet when out after dusk.
That warning from local health officials who say a person in Palm Beach County has tested positive for the mosquito-borne virus called chikungunya fever.
The Florida Department of Health Palm Beach County reports the disease has made its way to the Caribbean countries and the male patient had visited the Caribbean, where he was bitten by an infected mosquito. Officials are monitoring people coming here from that area.
Symptoms of chikungunya, that usually show up several days after someone is bitten, include fever and severe joint pain. It is rarely fatal.
Here are more details from the PBC Health Department, Palm Beach County:
Symptoms of chikungunya usually begin 3-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito and can include fever and severe joint pains often in hands and feet. Other symptoms can include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash. Chikungunya fever does not often result in death, but some individuals may experience persistent joint pain. There is currently no vaccine or medication to prevent chikungunya fever. If you have travelled to the Caribbean and feel that you may have contracted chikungunya, see your health care provider. People at increased risk for severe disease include newborns exposed during delivery, older adults (≥65 years), and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease. A person infected with chikungunya should stay indoors as much as possible until symptoms subside to prevent further transmission.
To minimize exposure to mosquitos, practice the drain and cover method. Drain water from garbage cans, house gutters, pool covers, coolers, toys, flower pots or any other containers where water has collected and discard any items that may collect water. Clean bird baths and pet water bowls twice a week. If you must be outside when mosquitoes are active, cover up. Wear shoes, socks, long pants, and long sleeves. You may also apply mosquito repellent to bare skin and clothing. Always use repellents according to the label. Repellents with DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus, and IR3535 are effective. Use mosquito netting to protect children younger than 2 months.