Chikungunya virus has spread from Africa since 2005 affecting regions of India, France and Italy and in some cases becoming fatal. This new mosquito borne virus is far worse than West Nile which sickens only about 1 out of every 10 who become infected with it. Chikungunya virus will make those it infects very ill and it’s not uncommon for it to be fatal. The fact that there is no virus doesn’t help the outlook for the patient either.
Chikungunya, which was first discovered in Tanzania in 1952, causes fever, nausea, fatigue, muscle pain, vomiting, rash and joint pain. These symptoms can last for a few weeks and for some it can results in a pain like arthritis that lasts for months after the initial infection.
The mosquito that carries the virus, the Asian tiger mosquito, is found all around the world and is most prominent east of the Mississippi in the U.S. so the area where it can spread might seem small here. However it’s beginning to become a problem in the Islands of the Indian Ocean a popular tourist spot for Europeans. With all the planes going in and out infected tourist and mosquitoes are traveling to other parts of the world spreading the potential area of infection. Larger and more impoverished areas are more likely to face a problem but it could be a concern all across the world.