K-State researcher says virus has come to Kansas - KHGI-TV/KWNB-TV/KHGI-CD-Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings

K-State researcher says virus has come to Kansas

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MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) - A mosquito-borne illness that a top Kansas State University researcher says can knock people down for weeks or months at a time has come to Kansas but usually isn't fatal.

Stephen Higgs, director of the university's Biosecurity Research Institute, is a world expert on the chikungunya virus. The Wichita Eagle (http://bit.ly/1oqeKRJ ) reports the name is an African Makonde word that means "to bend up," with intense joint and body pain.

About 100 people in the United States have contracted the illness, most while traveling. Kansas Department of Health and Environment officials say they include two people from Sedgwick County who recently traveled separately to the Caribbean.

The danger here will be if infected travelers come home, get bitten, and infect local mosquitoes that could then spread the illness widely.

Information from: The Wichita (Kan.) Eagle, http://www.kansas.com

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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