HEALTH MINUTE: New Mosquito-Borne Virus

Public health authorities are warning Americans to be aware of a dangerous mosquito borne illness that is hitting the Caribbean islands and other locations overseas.  

They call it Chikungunya, a debilitating, mosquito borne virus that can be transferred from mosquitoes to humans back to mosquitoes. Although the illness is primarily found in Africa, East Asia and the Caribbean islands, the Centers for Disease Control has been monitoring the virus for some time. And because of a major outbreak in the Caribbean this year, many health officials are even more concerned American tourists could bring it back to this country and it's just a matter of time before it starts to spread within the us.

Even though there have been recent reports of the illness in states such as Tennessee and North Carolina, all of the infected patients were visiting overseas when they contracted the virus.

The Chikungunya, which can cause severe joint pain and arthritis-like symptoms, has no cure, and no treatment. so the most effective protection is prevention.

The best way to avoid any mosquito bite is to do the following:
  • Use bug spray when you go outdoors, especially if you are in a wet or wooded area.
  • Wear long clothing if  you will be outdoors for a long time
  • If you are going overseas, especially in tropical areas, pack protection against mosquitoes.
  • And get rid of any standing water you may have around your home. 
Mosquitoes breed in still waters. the fewer little mosquitoes,  the fewer amount of  big ones.

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