If you have been paying attention to the news lately you have likely seen articles about Chikungunya virus. You’re probably wondering two things: 1) how to pronounce that word (Here’s a little help: chik-en-gun-ye), and 2) what it is.
Chikungunya is a new virus that is spread by…(you guessed it)…the mosquito. 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. Confirmed cases had been reported in 30 states as of July 8, which is why it’s been hitting headlines over the past several weeks. Currently the virus is not actually being transmitted in the U.S., but the experts warn that these imported cases could result in local spread of the virus in the future.
The Centers for Disease Control Prevention assures us that Chikungunya is not lethal like 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, 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, and good luck with that pronunciation.