D.R. on High Alert for new mosquito virus which bit 10 from St Maarten

The World Health Organization is warning that cases of the mosquito-borne illness known as chikungunya have been reported in the Caribbean.

{IMAGE VIA - medindia.net} Chikungunya virus is indigenous to tropical Africa and Asia, where it is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes, usually of the genus Aedes. The virus, which had never been seen before in the Western Hemisphere, has infected more than 10 people on the French side of the island of St. Martin.

{IMAGE VIA – medindia.net} Chikungunya virus is indigenous to tropical Africa and Asia, where it is transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes, usually of the genus Aedes. The virus, which had never been seen before in the Western Hemisphere, has infected more than 10 people on the French side of the island of St. Martin.

The symptoms of chikungunya are similar to dengue. The disease produces headache, fever, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, rash and muscle or joint pain. A fever may last days or weeks.

The virus is not usually fatal if symptoms are treated. There is no vaccine yet, but one is being developed. Doctors recommend against the use of aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen and other NSAID’s that are recommended for arthritic pain and fever to treat the illness. Preventive measures are wearing clothing that minimizes skin exposure and using repellent that contains DEET, IR3535, Oil of Lemon Eucalyptus, PMD or Picaridin.

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