Deadly Mosquito Virus May Soon Reach Middle Tennessee

Doctors expect a deadly mosquito borne virus to arrive in Middle Tennessee in the next couple of months. Officially called Chikungunya, the virus is being labeled as the new West Nile Virus.

Symptoms and Treatment

Victims of Chikungunya tend to experience the sudden onset of a fever above 102 degrees and joint pain, usually within 3-7 days. The disease may include other symptoms such as headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash.  Most people will get better within a week, but newborns and older adults (above the age of 65) may struggle with more severe problems.

As of right now, there are no vaccines to combat the virus, but researchers at Vanderbilt University are teaming up with the Global Virus Network to develop an effective solution.

Currently, the only way to avoid infection is to keep from getting bitten by mosquitoes. For tips on how to prevent mosquito bites, check out this blog detailing five ways to protect yourself from mosquitoes.

If you feel you may have been infected, make sure you see your doctor as soon as possible.

Origin of the Virus

Chikungunya means to bend up, somewhat describing the pain felt by the virus. The disease originated in Africa, Asia, and Europe and came to the Carribeans in 2013. Since then, more than 20,000 cases have been reported in the Carribeans alone. The virus will likely soon hit the U.S.

The southeast contains two mosquitoes that are capable of carrying the virus, the same mosquitoes that carry the dengue virus. These bugs primarily bite during the daytime, so you will need to protect yourself even while the sun is out. While no cases of Chikungunya have been recorded in the U.S. yet, experts say the World Cup could speed up its arrival.

To avoid Chikungunya, try your best not to get bitten. And don’t forget to call U.S. Pest if you need help getting rid of bugs in and around your home.