New Mosquito-Borne Virus Worries CDC

We've heard of Eastern Equine Encephalitis and West Nile Virus, but now public health authorities are warning us of another dangerous mosquito borne illness.

Right now it's mostly hitting the Caribbean Islands and other warm weather locations overseas.

As Martha Shade reports, the fear is, U.S. visitors to those places will bring the virus back home.

They call it Chikungunya, a debilitating, mosquito borne virus that can be transferred from mosquitoes to humans back to mosquitoes.

Although the illness is primarily found in Africa, East Asia and the Caribbean Islands, the Centers for Disease Control has been monitoring the virus for some time.

And because of a major outbreak in the Caribbean this year, many health officials are even more concerned American tourists could bring it back to this country and it's just a matter of time before it starts to spread within the U.S.

Even though there have been recent reports of the illness in states such as Tennessee and North Carolina, all of the infected patients were visiting overseas when they contracted the virus.

The Chikungunya, which can cause severe joint pain and arthritis-like symptoms, has no cure, and no treatment.

So the most affective protection is prevention.

The best way to avoid any mosquito bite is to do the following: use bug spray when you go outdoors, especially if you are in a wet or wooded area.

Wear long clothing if you will be outdoors for a long time if you are going overseas, especially in tropical areas, pack protection against mosquitoes, and get rid of any standing water you may have around your home.

Mosquitoes breed in still waters.

The fewer little mosquitoes, the fewer amount of big ones.

For today's health minute, I'm Martha Shade.