Just in time for mosquito season, Caribbean travelers are bringing home CHIK-V (Chikungunya Virus) infections. Painful but short lived, CHIK-V is highly contagious, having become widespread in the Caribbean in only about 6 months.
Now, there have been almost thirty reported cases in the continental US (reporting isn’t mandated, it’s likely that there have been more). Soon, many areas will have mosquitoes carrying and spreading the virus.
CHIK-V is a very unpleasant flu-like illness that shows up a few days after a bite from an infected mosquito. Severe fatigue, nausea, joint pain, and sometimes a rash will then last a couple of days. For almost everyone, CHIK-V will clear up by itself and (good news!), you’ll have lifelong immunity.
For people with a weakened immune system, symptoms might be a little more severe: headaches, eye infection, and loss of taste. People with weakened immune systems might even suffer lasting joint pain (presumably from inflammatory damage).
Get rid of still water and anything else on your property that might attract mosquitoes. (Still water isn’t just ponds or fountains, it can be a dip in cement, or something left out that can collect water). Any outdoor water dishes for pets needs to be given fresh water or emptied daily.
Sunrise and sunset are peak mosquito times, so try and plan around them.
Wear long sleeve shirts and pants, use mosquito nets over strollers. (Linen is a lovely summer cloth for long sleeves).
Use bug repellent and/or citronella candles.
Coping with CHIK-V:
-Keep your immune system strong. That means a combination of things: support your immune system (try MesoSilver) keep eating healthy (lots of antioxidant rich fruits and veggies) and rest up so it passes quickly.
-If you have other serious health issues, see a doctor. Otherwise, standard virus advice: lots of fluids and rest. You should also see a doctor if you have severe symptoms or it lasts longer than typical CHIK-V cases (a couple of days).
Share your mosquito strategies in the comments: