Published: Jun 09, 2014 1:47 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- The Florida Department of Health in Lee County today confirmed a case of imported chikungunya fever, a disease spread by bites from infected mosquitoes. If a person is infected and bitten by a mosquito, that mosquito may later spread the infection by biting another person.

Lee County’s first imported case of chikungunya was in a 71-year-old male who recently visited the Dominican Republic. Chikungunya lives in daytime biting mosquitoes, so residents are encouraged to use insect repellent during the day, as well as at dusk and dawn.

“Avoiding mosquito bites is the key to preventing infection with chikungunya and other mosquito-borne diseases,” said Jennifer Roth, DOH-Lee epidemiologist. “Floridians and visitors are encouraged to take precautionary measures to help reduce the chance of being bitten. Remember to drain and cover.”

Now that many residents are experiencing daily rains, people are encouraged to check around the outside of their homes daily for standing water and drain any that’s found. Draining bromeliad plants is also encouraged. 

For more information on chikungunya, visit the Florida Department of Health at http://www.floridahealth.gov/diseases-and-conditions/mosquito-borne-diseases/chikungunya.html or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/ and www.leechd.com