More Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes May Be Heading to the U.S.

More Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes May Be Heading to the U.S.

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie Thompson

Life Saver, AMC

posted on Feb 10, 2014, at 9:50 pm

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THERE IS A POSSIBILITY THAT A DISEASE FROM INFECTED MOSQUITOES may be making its way to the continental U.S. This disease, called chikungunya (chik-un-GUHN-ya) fever, is translated in the Makonde language of southeastern Africa as “that which bends up” because it is known for causing the patients to stoop over in pain. It typically brings about high fevers, joint pain, rash and headaches that last for about a week. In critical situations, it can lead to longer-term joint pain, but fortunately, it is rarely fatal. There are no vaccines for chikungunya.

Last October, there was an infection reported on the Caribbean island of Saint Martin and by December, there had been two dozen cases. Since then, more than a thousand cases have been found along the Caribbean isles. The odds are high that the disease could hit the United States. Yes, the cold weather may shield some areas, but that won’t last when the temperatures rise again.

But no one knows for sure when, or even if, chikungunya fever might hit. Things like this can be fairly unpredictable. For example, dengue, another mosquito-transmitting virus, is found in some parts of the U.S., like Texas, but not others, like Arizona, where conditions are perfect for an outbreak.

While it is disturbing that chikungunya is hitting islands so close to the mainland, that doesn’t quite increase the risks of it landing in our country. There is no true way of knowing, so we’ll just have to wait and see.

To read the full article, go to Scientific American

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

Contact Mackenzie at mackenzie.thompson@advmedcert.com
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