According to the CDC, there's now another reason to hate mosquitos. ABC reports, "A debilitating virus carried by mosquitoes now in the US. North Carolina has reported its first case of the virus, and some doctors are worried it could spread like the West Nile virus."
WCNC says, "Forsyth County has confirmed its first case of chikungunya. The person who got sick got it while traveling on vacation down in the Caribbean."
Symptoms of this virus usually present themselves within 3-7 days of being bitten, CDC.gov says, "The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain, as well as headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash."
The disease is rarely deadly but symptoms can be "severe and disabling." Most patients begin to feel better after a week, but in some, joint pain can persist for months. There is currently no medication to treat the infection.
USA Today reports the disease was first discovered in Africa more than 60 years ago, and was detected in the Caribbean last year.
"About 135,000 people have been suspected or confirmed infected in the Western Hemisphere -- mostly in the Caribbean -- since last year, according to the Pan American Health Organization."
You can try to prevent contracting chikungunya by preventing mosquito bites, CNN says:• Use bug spray • Get rid of standing water • Dress appropriately
According to the World Health Organization, the name "chikungunya" comes from a word in the Kimakonde language, meaning "to become contorted" which describes the "stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain."
Yeah, that doesn't sound very fun at all. Where's the bug spray?