It is hard to miss the headlines in the news when it talks about a new virus spread by mosquitoes, and even harder when those news reports have titles such as Third Case of Chikungunya Reported in Dallas County and Locally Acquired Chikungunya Has Arrived in Florida. It is enough to worry anyone who faces mosquitoes and let’s face it – that’s just about everyone.
We told you all about chikungunya virus in our blog post back in July and how until late 2013 the virus was only found in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Then it made its way to the Caribbean, where travelers began bringing it back to the United States. We wanted to give you an update on the virus, and remind you that while it is not lethal – it is something to be aware of because the virus has reported cases in 47 states.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of September 30, a total of 1,211 chikungunya virus disease cases have been reported in the United States. Eleven locally-transmitted cases have been reported from Florida, and that means the virus was not brought in from another country – it was acquired in Florida. When we discussed numbers in July, they were significantly lower.
The CDC assures us that Chikungunya is not lethal like other mosquito borne illnesses such as West Nile, but it is something we would of course like to avoid. The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.
If you are traveling to a country where Chikungunya is transmitted by mosquitoes or in a state that has a high number of cases such as New York, New Jersey or Florida, take precautions to avoid mosquito bites. Wear long sleeves and avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active (dusk and dawn). If you’re interested in avoiding mosquitoes here at home, our barrier treatment sprays are a great way to keep your yard itch free. As always Mosquito Joe will keep you updated on all new information when it comes to Chikungunya. Have you mastered the pronunciation yet?