What is Chikungunya?

FAIRFAX, Va. (May 23, 2014) – A new mosquito-borne disease is gaining traction in countries close to the United States. Chikungunya, pronounced chik·un·gun·ya, was previously only seen in Asia, Africa and a few countries in Europe, but in late 2013 the virus was discovered in the Caribbean, its first known appearance in the Western Hemisphere.

Currently, no locally transmitted cases of Chikungunya have been seen stateside, but four Florida residents who had recently travelled to the Caribbean have confirmed cases of the virus.

Symptoms of Chikungunya mirror those of other mosquito-borne diseases: fever, joint pain, headaches and muscle pain. There is no vaccine or medicine to specifically treat the virus. Although most patients may recover within one week’s time, Dr. Jorge Parada, medical advisor for the National Pest Management Association, urges anyone experiencing these symptoms to seek prompt medical attention.