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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)

    Untreatable virus spreading in the Caribbean now afflicts 4,600

    Untreatable virus spreading in the Caribbean now afflicts 4,600

    Caribbean cruising remains popular with North Americans despite the spread of an untreatable virus among visitors to more than 20 ports in the region. (Andy Newman / Associated Press)

    CAROL J. WILLIAMScontact the reporter

    Cuba is latest Caribbean state to report cases of chikungunya virus

    No treatment available yet for dengue-like chikungunya virus spreading in the Caribbean

    Virus prevalent in Asia and Africa now spreading in the Caribbean, health agencies warn

    A mosquito-borne virus that arrived in the Americas just six months ago is spreading and afflicts nearly 4,600 people in the Caribbean, the Pan American Health Organization reported this week.

    Cuba is the latest country to confirm cases of the chikungunya virus, which has neither a vaccine for prevention nor treatment for its symptoms: fever, rash, nausea and joint pain that can last for months or years. It reported six cases.

    Idyllic scenes await vacationers in the Caribbean, like this stretch of Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, which has had 20 confirmed cases of chikungunya virus in recent months. (Todd Vansickle / Associated Press)

    Puerto Rico, a U.S. commonwealth, and the U.S. Virgin Islands confirmed one case each.

    Chikungunya, which resembles dengue fever, was confined to Asia, Africa and the Indian subcontinent until 2007, when the first cases in Europe were diagnosed in northeastern Italy. In December, 10 people fell ill with it on the French side of St. Martin, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

    WORLD NOWCDC warns of mosquito-borne virus in CaribbeanSEE ALL RELATED

    The virus is rarely fatal or accompanied by serious complications, the Pan American health agency notes. But severe cases can afflict sufferers with chronic joint pain and an elevated risk for arthritis.

    The CDC sounded the alert over chikungunya as its initial cases in the Americas were detected in popular Caribbean ports of call, holding forth the potential to spread quickly among the thousands of cruise ship passengers who visit the islands each day.

    Most cruise ships dock on the Dutch side of St. Martin, but the French area's marinas and beaches are popular with charter boats, sailing vessels and day-trippers who visit the French-side capital, Marigot, while their cruise ships are at Philipsburg.

    The French islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique have had the highest number of chikungunya cases reported, with more than 1,300 and 1,500, respectively. The French side of St. Martin has had 793 cases reported since December, and the Dutch side 123. In all, 20 states or islands in the Caribbean have reported victims.

    The CDC recommends travelers avoid being bitten by the Aedes aegypti mosquito by using insect repellent and long-sleeved shirts and pants. They also advise using air conditioning where available and mosquito netting where not.

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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    A New Mosquito Virus

    By Vanessa Martinas
    Published: June 23, 2014,

    Public Health officials in Kansas are warning the public about a new virus you can get through mosquito bites.

    This one comes from an unusual place for people to worry about in Kansas.

    The new virus comes out of the Caribbean.

    While seven confirmed case has been found in the US so far, they’re already testing mosquito’s here.
    Much like the more widely known West Nile Virus, the Chikungunya virus shows up as fever, headaches, joint swelling and a rash.

    “So we definitely want people to be aware that you know this could potentially be an issue this year and they need to protect themselves,” Amiee Rosenow with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said.

    Because mosquito’s breed in ponds and stagnant water, this spring’s rains are contributing to the threat.

    There are ways you can prevent yourself from getting bitten.

    The most common way is by using insect repellant.

    “For several years now I’ve used ‘Off’, um it literally works for me if I follow the directions,” Topeka resident Lenora Lewis said.
    You can also wear protective clothing if your going to be outdoors and drain any standing water.

    Make sure you dump the water out of any kiddy pools or buckets around your house, it’s the breeding environment for mosquitoes.

    So far this year there hasn’t been any reported cases of someone contracting the West Nile Virus in the state of Kansas.
    But the safety tips for this new mosquito-borne virus also works against West Nile.

    In 2012 there were 57 cases in the state and in 2013 there were 92.

    When you buy insect repellant make sure it contains ‘Deet,’ it’s the ingredient that help keep those mosquitoes away.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    Seems to follow the illegal immigration "Path" to the US.

    Cuba: 6 cases of chikungunya virus in travelers


    06/18/2014 10:23 AM

    Cuban health authorities on Wednesday said they detected six cases of chikungunya fever, a debilitating, mosquito-borne virus that is suspected of afflicting tens of thousands across the Caribbean since its arrival in the region last year.

    In a statement published by Communist Party newspaper Granma and other official media, the Health Ministry said the cases were found in people who had recently traveled to Haiti and the Dominican Republic, where there have been thousands of locally transmitted cases of the virus.

    Their condition was "evolving favorably."

    Some Cubans make regular trips to those and other countries to import clothing and other goods for resale. Havana has also sent large contingents of medical workers to treat the poor in Haiti and elsewhere, though the Ministry said they undergo quarantine before returning.

    Chikungunya, which has long been present in Africa and Asia, was first detected in the Caribbean in December.

    Deriving its name from an African word that loosely translates as "contorted with pain," chikungunya is rarely fatal, but those who have contracted the virus call it a miserable experience.

    Its symptoms have been described as a combination of a terrible flu and a sudden case of arthritis, with searing headaches, a high fever and intense muscle and joint pain.

    Cuba is in the early part of its summer monsoon season, when mosquito-borne diseases typically spike.

    As in other years, in recent weeks Cuban authorities have ramped up a campaign to send brigades of workers door-to-door fumigating houses, offices and government buildings nationwide.

    "The Health System ratifies the need to intensify the vector-control fight that is being carried out in the country, for which it is essential that in every home and workplace the necessary actions are guaranteed to eliminate possible (mosquito) breeding grounds," the Ministry said in its statement.

    It advised islanders traveling to other parts of the Caribbean to see a doctor upon their return and to seek immediate medical care if they experience symptoms typical of the virus.

    According to a report by the Pan American Health Organization, there have been about 166,000 suspected and 4,600 confirmed cases of Chikungunya in the Caribbean as of mid-June.

    Read more here:

  4. #4
    Senior Member florgal's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    North Carolina
    North Carolina:

    First confirmed NC case of mosquito-borne chikungunya virus reported in Forsyth Co.

    Posted 5:42 pm, June 11, 2014, by Paul Choate, Updated at 08:10am, June 12, 2014

    FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. – A case of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus has been confirmed in Forsyth County, according to Health Director Marlon Hunter. It appears to be the first confirmed case of the virus in the state.
    There is no medicine to treat chikungunya, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    Representatives of the Forsyth County Department of Public Health will hold a news conference Thursday at 9 a.m. to provide information on the chikungunya virus infection and basic measures to minimize exposure to the virus.
    The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash.
    Chikungunya does not often result in death, but the symptoms can be severe and disabling, the CDC says. Most people recover within a week but in some cases can experience joint pain that persists for months.
    Symptoms typically begin three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Once a person has been infected, he or she is likely to be protected from future infections.
    To decrease symptoms, the CDC recommends getting plenty of rest, drinking fluids to prevent dehydration and taking medicines such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce fever and pain.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Heart of Dixie
    Mosquito-borne chikungunya virus can lead to lasting joint pain, U.S. doctor warns

    An aedes aegypti mosquito is shown on human skin in this USDA photo. (AP Photo/USDA, File)

    Avis Favaro and Elizabeth St. Philip, CTV News
    Published Monday, June 23, 2014 6:26PM EDT

    A medical practitioner who was struck by a new mosquito-borne virus while working in Haiti is warning North Americans about possible long-term joint pain that comes from this virus, which is now quickly spreading throughout the Caribbean.

    Dr. Jennifer Halverson, an emergency medicine specialist from Minnesota, spends three or four months a year in Haiti. She became ill last month while working at a maternity care hospital in Port Au Prince.

    “My joints my shoulders, hips and knees were incredibly painful,” she says of the symptoms. “The first 48 hours were miserable … Even lifting my arm, lifting the covers on the bed was extremely painful.”

    Dr. Jennifer Halverson is shown caring for a Haitian infant who was infected with the chikungunya virus during birth. (Provided)

    Dr. Jennifer Halverson, an emergency medicine specialist from Minnesota, cares for a pregnant patient in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti in this undated image. (Provided)

    After a fever, Halverson’s mouth became inflamed with sores. Although those acute symptoms lasted only about four to five days, Halverson says she was left with what she calls “persistent arthritis symptoms” -- joint pain that continues to this day.
    “Every day when I wake up, I limp,” she says. “I am still taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatories … to keep the symptoms under control.”

    Chikungunya -- pronounced “chik-en-gun-ya” -- triggers a very painful illness. According to the World Health Organization, the name is derived from a word in the Kimakonde language of Tanzania, where the virus was first described in 1952. The word means "to become contorted."

    The virus is already common in central and southern Africa and southern Asia.

    It has recently spread to 17 countries in the Caribbean, including Haiti and Cuba, where the number of chikungunya cases now tops 189,000, according to the Pan American Health Organization. And as of last week, 80 cases of chikungunya have been reported in 13 U.S. states.

    While no Canadian cases have yet been reported, doctors say it’s only a matter of time.

    There are concerns that travellers returning from the World Cup in Brazil will bring the illness home with them as well.

    Government reports indicate some 40,000 people have been infected with chikungunya in Haiti. But some doctors suspect the numbers are far higher -- likely in the millions.

    Most cases aren’t counted because the test to distinguish chikunguyna from dengue fever -- another mosquito-borne disease -- isn’t readily available on the island.

    Dr. Megan Coffee, an American infectious disease physician who has been living in Haiti since 2010, says she now finds it “surprising” when someone in Port-au-Prince says they haven’t had it.

    “It's like in the old days when everyone just expected to get chicken pox … Almost everyone I know has had it,” says Coffee. “It will feel like their feet are broken, their legs are broken and their arms are broken.”

    But the real concern is whether the joint pain will last a long time. Some patients recover quickly, but for others, it lingers for months.

    There is no specific treatment for the virus, only supportive care like fluids and over-the-counter painkillers. In severe cases, steroids can help relieve joint pain and inflammation.

    While chikungunya isn’t considered as deadly as malaria or dengue fever, it can still be fatal in about 1 in 1,000 cases -- mostly in the very young and the very old.

    While in Haiti, Halverson cared for some babies infected during birth, noting that one infant developed seizures a few days after birth.

    “This can be linked to poor development later in life,” she says.

    Halverson says doctors need to be watching for symptoms of chikungunya in travellers returning from areas where the mosquito-borne virus is endemic.

    The Public Health Agency of Canada first issued a travel notice about chikungunya in December, recommending that travellers protect themselves from mosquito bites when travelling to affected countries.

    Read more:

  6. #6
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Aug 2008
    PARADISE (San Diego)

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