A few months ago, we told you about Chikungunya, a relatively new virus spread by mosquitos that are making its way into America. Recently, there was a new form of Chikungunya detected in Brazil. What makes this version of Chikungunya different is that it originated in Africa, not Asia. Until now, only the Asian strain had been detected in our part of the world. The troubling part about the African strain is that it is highly prone to mutations, which could increase the infection rate and its debilitating effects.
With Brazil’s summer starting in December (sounds nice, right?), an already aggravated mosquito problem is only going to get worse. Brazil not only has both strains of Chikungunya, but there are also thousands of cases of malaria reported each year in the country. Although we’re heading into our winter months here in the USA and will remain protected from mosquitos, Chikungunya-carrying mosquitos could slowly make their way north. This new form of Chikungunya detected in Brazil is especially alarming as Brazil is becoming a major exporter and global business partner. Additionally, this second type of mosquito-borne disease could more easily spread to the US due to Brazil being a top tourist destination.
What is Chikungunya?
Like malaria, Chikungunya is spread to humans when bitten by an infected mosquito. Chikungunya is characterized by:
- Rash on the limbs and body
- Painful and arthritic joints
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swelling of legs
While most people recover within a week and Chikungunya is not fatal, the symptoms are extremely painful.
Chikungunya, which means “that which bends up” (because of the painful joints), was first discovered in Tanzania in the 1950s. Since 2013, Chikungunya has been reported in Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, Tennessee, and North Carolina.
The Fight Against Chikungunya
Currently, there are two vaccines in development to help fight Chikungunya, but neither are far along in their clinical studies. While DEET spray and citronella candles are great temporary solutions, their ability to fully prevent mosquito bites is low compared to professional treatment.
At DC Mosquito Squad, we have made it our lifelong goal to prevent the spread the mosquito-borne illnesses. The spread of Chikungunya means we’ll have to step up or efforts even more to keep you and your family safe.
If you want a proven method to rid your yard of mosquitos by up to 95 percent, DC Mosquito Squad is equipped with the tools and experience to get the job done.