It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
US health officials are on high alert as a mosquito-borne virus that yet has no cure has struck six of the US states. The virus called chikungunya causes severe joint pain which can last for years.
Symptoms of the malaria-like illness include fever, headache, chills, sensitivity to light, and rash, vomiting and severe joint pain, according to World Health Organization (WHO). Occasional cases of eye, neurological and heart complications have been reported, as well as gastrointestinal complaints, it adds. They usually begin three to seven days after infection occurs. The consequences include a long period of joint pains which may persist for years in some cases.
The virus, which can cause joint pain and arthritis-like symptoms, has been on the U.S. public health radar for some time. About 25 to 28 infected travelers bring it to the United States each year, said Roger Nasci, chief of the CDC's Arboviral Disease Branch in the Division of Vector-Borne Diseases.
"We haven't had any locally transmitted cases in the U.S. thus far," Nasci said.
But a major outbreak in the Caribbean this year -- with more than 100,000 cases reported -- has health officials concerned. Experts say American tourists are bringing chikungunya back home, and it's just a matter of time before it starts to spread within the United States.
After all, the Caribbean is a popular one with American tourists, and summer is fast approaching.
"So far this year we've recorded eight travel-associated cases, and seven of them have come from countries in the Caribbean where we know the virus is being transmitted," Nasci said.
Other states have also reported cases of chikungunya. The Tennessee Department of Health said the state has had multiple cases of the virus in people who have traveled to the Caribbean.
Health officials in North Carolina, Nebraska and Indiana this week reported the first confirmed chikungunya cases in those states, along with Tennessee, which has suspected cases.
Chikungunya has rapidly spread in the Caribbean in recent months, sending thousands of patients to hospitals with painful joints, pounding headaches and spiking fevers.
Florida's 25 cases account for the majority reported in the United States, according to state health officials and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The cases in the continental United States have not been transmitted by local mosquitoes, which would raise the threat.
"It will be more difficult for the virus to establish itself here," said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
Along with new reports, the CDC is monitoring chikungunya in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Virginia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
originally posted by: eriktheawful
Here is a layout of those areas:
originally posted by: Rochester
The cases in the United States are from people returning from travel to other countries that are affected.
originally posted by: bjax9er
Boy it's a good thing we don't use DDT to kill Mosquitos anymore, or we would keep getting infected with those crazy viruses.
How many people have died since the world stopped using DDT?