Twenty-four states so far have reported 88 cases of this mosquito-borne disease. The first case of Chikungunya in the Caribbean was reported in December 2013. The CDC currently says there are more than 183,000 cases in the Western Hemisphere. It is spreading like proverbial wildfire.
The disease had previously remained in Africa, the Pacific Islands, and Asia until December when the Caribbean nation of St. Martin’s reported the first case. Chikungunya comes from a language in Tanzania meaning “bent over.” Symptoms of the disease include fever, headaches and joint pain. Symptoms occur within 3-7 days of an infected mosquito bite. Most symptoms usually appear after a week, but some victims aren't so lucky. The arthritic-like joint pain of the disease can linger for some for months or years. Medication can be prescribed for the pain but there is no treatment for the illness. Fortunately, the disease is rarely fatal.
Although no local transmissions from humans to mosquitoes have occurred in the US, CDC scientists believe it is only a matter of time before isolated outbreaks will occur here. So far, all of the US victims of Chikungunya acquired the disease during visits to the Caribbean.
The two species of mosquitoes that transmit this disease have been in the US for some years. With our increasingly warmer climate, both species can now be found as far north as Rhode Island. These mosquitoes are aggressive daytime feeders. They do not primarily look for a blood meal at dusk and dawn like other mosquito species.
Since this is the summer traveling season, many US vacationers will plan to enjoy the sun and surf of the Caribbean. You can’t know whether a returning neighbor or family member from a Caribbean vacation will be the next Chikungunya case in the US. The best way anyone has of preventing mosquito-borne illnesses to themselves and loved ones is to prevent being bitten by a mosquito. Since you likely spend most of your time outdoors in your yard, there is an effective way to reduce the number of bites you and your family may receive this summer.
Mosquito Squad of Greater Washington DC provides an effective and proven barrier treatment that eliminates 85-90% of the mosquitoes in your yard throughout the season. We will also help you mosquito-proof your yard by pointing out places mosquitoes like to breed and hide, like rain gutters clogged with organic debris, flowerpots with standing water, etc. Before treating your yard, we will confirm that we are on our way. We will also leave you a notice that your yard was treated. For continued protection all summer long, we recommend you treat your yard every 3 weeks during mosquito season. With 4th of July around the corner, this would be an excellent time for you to experience the effectiveness of our barrier treatment and judge for yourself.