ATLANTA, June 19 (UPI) -- Ashley Manning, one of about a dozen people in Georgia infected with the chikungunya virus, describes the painful symptoms of the incurable, though rarely fatal, fever.
Manning was in Haiti on a mission trip when she was infected with the chikungunya virus. She said she applied mosquito repellent but that did not prevent her from getting bitten. After returning, she reported a temperature of 103 degrees and was admitted to Northeast Georgia Medical Center for treatment.
"I just thought I wasn't going to be able to walk, like I was going to constantly going to have these pains," Manning told WFTV. "My joints were hurting really bad and I was like getting really out of breath and like having a fever."
According to the CDC, the disease is transmitted by mosquitoes and the symptoms can last anywhere from one week to months. Chikungunya, while potentially temporarily disabling, does not often result in death.
"The name in African means 'bent over in pain,' and it can be quite disagreeable," said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University. "The illness is unpleasant, but not fatal."
"I don't think I've ever been in so much pain," said Manning.
While the virus is normally found in Africa and Southeast Asia, it was discovered in the Caribbean in 2013. So far, U.S. cases of the disease appear to have been imported.
Symptoms include fever, headache, rash and joint pain that can be managed with pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory medications.
The CDC says on their website that once a person has been infected with Chikungunya, they are likely immune to future infection.