Summer Travel Plans: Caribbean Health Warning

May 23, 2014

Tropical IslandLast year, a virus arrived in the Caribbean that has long been a bane of Africans and Asians: chikungunya (or CHIKV). It causes flu like symptoms and crippling joint pain. It’s transmitted by mosquitoes, and this year, it’s spread throughout the islands with over 55,000 cases.

Fortunately, it’s not a deadly disease. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly something you want to deal with on vacation.

Here’s what to expect:

After a mosquito bite, a day or two will pass and you could experience joint pain, fever, rash, fatigue, nausea, and possibly eye infection, headache, and loss of taste. People with a weakened immune system are prone to ongoing joint pain, and underlying conditions could become aggravated.

Most people will recover after a few days—but if you’re in the Caribbean for vacation? It’s already ruined.

The trick is avoiding mosquito bites—that means your vacation clothes will have to consist of long sleeve linens and pants, and you’ll need to pack some form of mosquito repellant. You should also keep your immune system as strong as possible so that symptoms might be minimized, and, hopefully, the duration of the illness will be a little shorter. (Being on vacation, that should be easy, right? Sleeping, relaxing, and eating right. Just be sure to pack a bottle of colloidal silver, for a little extra boost).

And here’s something to not look forward to—it’s almost inevitable the disease will make it back to the mainland after this summer’s vacation season. While you probably have a year before it’s really a problem (if you live in Florida, for instance), you might want to start preparing now. That means reducing places that draw mosquitoes around your home: still water, etc. And hey, having fewer mosquitoes around will help protect you from the mosquito borne illnesses already here, like West Nile!

Travel plans? How are you preparing?

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