December Travel News: Chikungunya Virus

The Chikungunya virus evolved into being around 1700, was first identified in 1955, and since 2005 it has been making a name for itself throughout Asia, Africa, and South America, all courtesy of the mosquito.

In 2014 a local transmission was confirmed in Florida, and the CDC has been watching it warily and issuing bulletins ever since at Rarely fatal, Chikungunya makes itself known to its host with joint pain, rashes, headaches, and fever. That’s the good news. The bad: Encephalitis is an occasional complication, there are no treatments or vaccinations, and the joint pain and inflammation can become chronic.

There’s no reason to avoid travel to particular regions, but there is a new reason to bring mosquito repellent, long pants, and mosquito nets.

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