Researchers develop new Chikungunya vaccine
Researchers develop new Chikungunya vaccine

Chikungunya virus spreads through Caribbean to Cuba, Report

The Chikungunya virus is spreading throughout the Caribbean and Health Services Authority (HSA) personnel are on high alert.

So far the mosquito-borne illness has been reported in 15 Caribbean countries, but hasn’t yet made its way to Cayman.

Chikungunya first appeared in the Western Hemisphere in December of 2013. It’s carried by the same species of mosquito that also carries Dengue.

Related : Checking for Chikungunya in Alabama

Experts say the chikungunya virus, which originated in Africa, is most often spread to people by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus mosquitoes, which transmit the virus that causes dengue fever and bite mostly during the daytime.

There is no vaccine preventing infection and the only way to avoid the disease is avoiding mosquito bites.

CDC is advising the public to use bug spray, insect repellent or long sleeve and long pants when out in tropical or wooded areas near water. People should also stop the mosquito from breeding by getting rid of stagnant water in flower pots or empty containers.

Repellents containing DEET, picaridin, IR3535, and oil of lemon eucalyptus and para-menthane-diol products provide the long lasting protection, CDC said. But people who want to be safe from chemicals can use the DEET-free Nature-Cide pesticide/insecticide and repellent.

Made from a blend of natural, essential oils, Nature-Cide is safe for use around children and pets and in homes. It is also safe for use in public transportation, furniture, luggage, and most surfaces.


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