Just last week, we posted about Chikungunya virus coming to New Hampshire through infected travelers. It would appear our post was right on time. Last week, on July 17th, the Florida Department of Health announced that state’s first confirmed cases of locally transmitted Chikungunya virus. This means that the persons who contracted the disease had not recently traveled outside of the country. The CDC announced this information that same day. As experts have predicted, Chikungunya virus is now in the continental United States. A mosquito-borne illness, the disease is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, and the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) resides in Southern New Hampshire.
While Chikungunya virus is still many miles away, it is important to know its symptoms, so it can be correctly identified. Symptoms typically present themselves 3-7 days after a person is bitten, and the most common are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, and rash. Very young children, the elderly, and individuals suffering from other health conditions are most at risk of developing severe manifestations of the disease. Fortunately, death from Chikungunya virus is rare, but the disease is painful and debilitating. Blood tests are used to diagnose Chikungunya. While there is no cure, the disease typically runs its course in one week, though some continue to experience joint pain for longer periods of time. Treatment includes rest, plenty of fluids, and over the counter pain medication to manage joint pain.
Of course, no one wants to get sick. To prevent colds, we wash our hands often and stay away from those who are infected. Chikungunya is not transmitted through person-to-person contact. Being bitten by an infected mosquito is the only way to contract the virus, so let’s all avoid mosquito bites. Wear light colored clothing when outdoors and use a mosquito repellent. To reduce the mosquito population on your property, rid the area of standing water – dump it out when you see it and be sure your property is draining.
And finally, contact Mosquito Squad of Southern New Hampshire at (603) 538-3125. We are mosquito-elimination experts, and our approach to mosquito control is strategic and effective. You can expect to see up to a 90% reduction in the mosquito population once we have visited. Our sprays are registered with the EPA and handled by trained professionals. Let us help keep your family safe from all mosquito-borne diseases, including the recently arrived Chikungunya virus.