A New Scourge in the Caribbean: Chikungunya Fever1 min read
Disease control officials in the Western Hemisphere are on edge about a rising outbreak of chikungunya fever, a brutal mosquito-borne illness that is nearing epidemic status in the Caribbean.
For decades, chikungunya outbreaks were confined to Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. However, in December, it was confirmed for the first time on several Caribbean Islands. The Centers for Disease Control has warned that there is a risk that the disease will be transported to new areas by infected travelers. So, travelers, we need you to pay attention and take steps to protect yourself.
Trust us – you don’t want to contract this disease. People infected with chikungunya fever can suffer from severe pain, high fever, headache, nausea, vomiting and rash. Right, it’s no fun. The name is derived from an East African word for “that which bends,” which is a reference to the contorted posture the infected often take on because of the intense pain they suffer from.
Travelers should protect themselves by taking steps to prevent mosquito bites. This means using insect repellent, wearing long sleeves and pants, and staying in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens.
This is a situation that bears monitoring, so as we always advise, please pay attention to the news, particularly if you’re traveling to the Caribbean.
Photo from Fox News.