Kristine Lofgren

A New, Terrifying Mosquito-Borne Virus Hits the United States

by , 06/11/14
filed under: News

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As if itching and burning weren’t enough of a reason to keep the bug spray close, a new disease carried by mosquitos has been identified in the United States – and it’s a real doozy. The chikungunya virus manifests with high fever and intense pain that can last years – and there is no treatment. So far only 28 people in the U.S have been afflicted with the disease, but some researchers believe that it is likely to start spreading.

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Chikungunya virus is spread by two mosquitos (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus), both of which are known for being aggressive and for biting even during the day. The disease has been around for centuries but one strain started last fall in the Caribbean and it has been spreading quickly – there are now over 103,000 people afflicted by the disease there, according to the CDC. The virus causes fever, pain, joint swelling, headaches and muscle pain and though it isn’t fatal, the disease has no cure or treatment and the pain can last anywhere from a week to years.

Related: DIY: 5 All-Natural Insect Traps and Deterrents You Can Make at Home

There haven’t been any cases of an individual contracting the disease from a mosquito in the U.S. Those who have the disease contracted it while traveling out of the country and have brought it back with them. But now that it is in the country, there is a high risk that it will eventually spread, particularly in Florida where the warm weather allows the mosquitos that carry the virus to survive year round. Travelers heading to the Caribbean, South America or Southeast Asia should be cautious to avoid being bitten, and for those in the U.S., screened windows and mosquito repellant are the first guard against the disease.

Via the Washington Post

Lead image via Shutterstock, image via John Tann

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5 Comments

  1. sweetivy June 14, 2014 at 9:54 am

    Let us forget about gmo mosquitos, that has too many other dangers attached to for the future. Next thing you know it would need pesticides to kill it because it turned into a freak and bigger danger to humans. The the pesticide would be a danger. Who is behind this, I smell a money trail.

  2. Gary Bridger June 13, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    Liz i live in Borneo. There are two more deceases, just because you got one there and it eased, Does m=not mean its the same one, Remember the Americas includes Amazon rain forrest too. much more boggy land and extreme then we have here. In africa , there is one know to eat you insides , No cure, And spreading.
    these are new diseases and all precaustions should be taken, if know in the area,

  3. fraskzx9 June 13, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    All Earthmenorwomen please take note of this threat to you Healthcare….

  4. Liz Sinclair June 12, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Oh for Heaven’s sakes, stop being so alarmist. I live in Indonesia where this disease is common. In fact, I just got over it myself. The effects don’t last for years, they may last for weeks if you’re unlucky. In extremely RARE cases, and usually where there is already chronic disease, the effects may last for a long time. The pain isn’t agonizing – its like bad period pain in your legs and backs. Jeesh. Its also very individialistic – some people get pain, some don’t, some get bad itching and the rash, but not everyone does. You also failed to mention that once you’ve had it, you’re thereafter immune so can happily travel abroad with impunity.

  5. Fernando Bernardes June 11, 2014 at 9:06 am

    Terrible News

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