Travel update: Chikungunya. It’s landed in America from the Caribbean. And it’s spread by local varieties of mosquito.
And while it won’t kill you like the ebola virus spreading all over West Africa, the chikungunya virus can cause such extreme joint pain that you can’t even sit up for weeks. And there is no cure.
Transmitted by mosquitos, Chikungunya has been slowly expanding around the tropics and subtropics from Southern Africa, and late last year it caused a major outbreak in the Caribbean.
“Anyone who is bitten by this Aedes aegypti mosquito is vulnerable to the disease.” – Carrie Arnold for NOVA
Symptoms are similar to the recently raging Dengue fever which is hitting Taiwan, Indonesia, China and Malaysia. And the biggest concern at the CDC is spread of the disease via infected tourists and travelers.
- Protect yourself from mosquitoes if traveling to areas where mosquitoes live/are common.
- Wear repellant (More from the CDC on which are best here).
- Get yourself checked out quickly if you start exhibiting any of the below symptoms while traveling.
- Symptoms usually begin 3–7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito.
- The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain.
- Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.
More from the CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/chikungunya/
Read and hear the whole story at National Public Radio: http://www.pri.org/stories/2014-08-01/after-long-journey-africa-new-tropical-disease-sets-shop-florida