As if itching and burning weren’t enough of a reason to keep the bug spray close, a new disease carried by mosquitoes has been identified in the United States – and it’s a real doozy. The chikungunya virus manifests with high fever and intense pain that can last years – and there is no treatment. So far only 28 people in the U.S have been afflicted with the disease, but some researchers believe that it is likely to start spreading.
Chikungunya virus is spread by two mosquitos (Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus), both of which are known for being aggressive and for biting even during the day. The disease has been around for centuries but one strain started last fall in the Caribbean and it has been spreading quickly – there are now over 103,000 people afflicted by the disease there, according to the CDC. The virus causes fever, pain, joint swelling, headaches and muscle pain and though it isn’t fatal, the disease has no cure or treatment and the pain can last anywhere from a week to years.