Health

Jun 12, 2014 6:43 AM by Chelsea DeCesare

New mosquito-borne virus

GREELEY-- With all of the rain and river flooding lately, some areas are starting to see pockets of standing water-- and with that standing water comes the possibility of more mosquitoes.

There have been no cases of West Nile virus in Colorado so far this year, but there is now another mosquito-transmitted one that health officials are keeping an eye on. It's called chikungunya.

It's a virus, which originated in East Africa. It has a funny-sounding name, but also brings with it debilitating symptoms that are nothing to laugh at.

Symptoms first appear to be flu-like but then turn to severe joint and muscle pain. It usually lasts three to five days, but for some the pain can last for months. West Nile virus, which is also transmitted through mosquito bites, can be fatal. Chikungunya is not.

So far, chikungunya has been mostly in the Caribbean, but health officials in Tennessee are investigating the first potential case there. Since people travel to the Caribbean, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment put out its own message about the virus.

If you do have to be outside when mosquitoes are around, always wear a mosquito repellant containing DEET and try and cover as much of your skin as possible, by wearing long pants and long sleeves.

 

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