A Yale scientist warns that an outbreak of the mosquito-borne illness chikungunya, which was recently discovered on the Caribbean island of St. Martin, might spread to other nations in the western hemisphere, including the United States, helthcanal.com reports.
“It is hard to predict the outcome of such events, but I believe this one has the potential to become a major public health problemfor the Americas,” said Durland Fish, a professor of epidemiology in the Yale School of Public Health.
Chikungunya causes fever, headache, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, rashes, and muscle or joint pain in the ankles and wrists. Symptoms can linger for a few days to a few weeks, but exhaustion usually stays for an extended period of time. It is rarely fatal, but there is no vaccine.
The disease is spread by the same mosquito species that carries the viral disease dengue, which is already widespread in much of the Caribbean and Central and South America, notes Fish.
“Unlike West Nile…
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