CDC issues warning about painful virus from mosquitoes

Posted on: 1:41 pm, December 18, 2013, by and

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A virus that causes pain so severe that patients lie groaning in bed for days has come to the Western Hemisphere and travelers should take precautions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautions.

Chikungunya virus has been confirmed in 10 people on the French side of St. Martin in the Caribbean, and it’s very likely to end up in the United States, CDC says.

The virus is carried by the same mosquitoes that spread dengue virus — Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, more commonly known as the Asian tiger mosquito. Both have been making inroads into the U.S.

Chikungunya is not usually deadly, but it can cause a very bad headache, joint pain, rash and fever. Its name in the Makonde language, spoken in Tanzania and Mozambique in Africa, means “that which bends up,” because patients are often contorted with pain.