A new mosquito-carrying virus with an exotic-sounding name is sweeping Ohio via common mosquitoes; it is called Chikungunya. West Nile has been the culprit in many infectious mosquito bites but Ohio infectious disease experts say that the mosquito that carries the virus is in the tri-state and mostly was brought back by travelers.
As of July 7, 2014, there have been roughly 50 cases of Chikungunya in the United States. Two people diagnosed were in Ohio and 12 in Kentucky those reported are caused from traveling abroad. These mosquitoes bite during the day or night and prevention is the only way to avoid the virus. Once bitten by an infected mosquito symptoms show within 3 to 7 days and include a rash, headaches, muscle pain, fever and joint pain and joint swelling.
Mosquitoes that bite and infected person then carries the virus to others and this is why it is a concern to public health officials. The virus itself is not considered deadly but the virus can cause debilitating joint pain in severe cases. The virus affects the young, elderly and those with health problems more severely.
There is no cure for this virus, it is a waiting game for the symptoms to pass, get plenty of rest, fluids and take Ibuprofen for the pain and swelling. Doctor Carl Fitchenbaum, a professor of clinical medicine at the University of Cincinnati's medical school says, everyone should make an effort to protect themselves from these mosquitoes.
Although, he suggests avoiding times at dawn and dusk, these mosquitoes bite in the daytime according to the CDC; however, mosquitoes are most active dawn and dusk. Wear long sleeves and long pants when weather permits and use mosquito repellent on clothing. The CDC suggests putting on sun block then spraying with DEET or other insect repellent.