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Mosquito Virus in the Caribbean and Beyond Still Infecting Scores of TravelersFebruary 12, 2015 By: Joe Pike
Several media outlets are reporting that the mosquito virus that has infected more than a million travelers since it first spread from Asia and Africa in late 2013 is still threatening Caribbean-bound vacationers.
The Chikungunya Virus has infected people in the Caribbean, Latin America and Mexico. There's even a celebrity to link to the virus now as The Seattle Times reported that actress Lindsay Lohan recently said she got it while in French Polynesia.
According to Fox News, few U.S. doctors have ever seen a case and many are stumped by the symptoms. More than 2,300 U.S. travelers to the Caribbean, Latin America and Mexico have caught the virus since last May, according to the report.
The CDC recommends that travelers to the Caribbean protect themselves from mosquito bites. People who have arthritis, are older than 65, pregnant and have serious underlying medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart disease or diabetes) are most at risk to the disease.
U.S. travelers contracted the virus in tropical destinations including Anguilla, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Indonesia, Tonga and the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Symptoms appear on average three to seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito, the health department says. Most patients feel better after a few days or weeks, however, some people may develop long-term effects.
There is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent chikungunya. The only way to stop the virus is to avoid mosquito bites. Preventing bites can be difficult, but it is important as you can get sick after just one bite.
Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for more updates on this story and follow Travel Agent's Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike.