I have been following this mosquito borne illness for some time as it has advanced from Africa and Asia to more swanky locations like Italy and France. It is now deeply digging into the Caribbean…and maybe soon to the U.S.
Chikungunya fever…a painful mosquito-borne virus common in Africa and Asia has advanced quickly throughout the eastern Caribbean in the past two months. Does that mean it is coming to the U.S. soon?!?! Not so fast…most scientists are saying not yet. It needs to get a bit warmer in the lower states before it does move in. Given climate change, that could happen sooner than we would all like to imagine.
First of all, how to do you pronounce it?!?! Chikungunya is pronounced chik-en-GUN-ya. It causes high fever and muscle pain, symptoms similar to those caused by dengue fever, which has swept the Caribbean for several years. While dengue can be fatal and chinkungunya rarely is, experts said the effects of chikungunya, such as pain in the small joints, tend to last longer, sometimes for months.
The CDC is starting webinar trainings for health professionals about this emerging health issue as we speak. Stay tuned.