When you’re getting ready for a quick summer break to Florida the glaring headline that there are 81 known cases of chikungunya* (chik-en-gun-ye) being reported in Florida does bring you up short….especially when your day job includes prevention communication on neglected tropical diseases.
Though the cases are reportedly from people who recently visited the Caribbean it still has not been a virus that is prevalent in this hemisphere….and not in the US.
I hope they all get well soon…and that the mosquitoes stayed there and not here.
In the meantime….just in case….
And the prevention guidelines are:
• Clean up standing water around yards and homes so mosquitoes do not have a place to breed
• Put up screens on windows and doors
• Wear long sleeves and long pants when out at night – when mosquitoes are prone to bite
• And if you don’t wear long pants and sleeves….use an insect repellant
…As for me, I’m rethinking my packing.
* Chikungunya is a virus transmitted to people by mosquitoes. The most common symptoms of chikungunya virus infection are fever and joint pain. There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat chikungunya virus infection. Travelers can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites. Centers for Disease Control website
Picture is from Naples Daily News 2014…I hope it is the right mosquito!