Watch Out for Chikungunya

Jun 17, 2014

Health experts are watching for a mosquito borne illness showing up in the U-S, and it's NOT West Nile.
Credit National Geographic

Traps are out, but so far no sign of mosquitos carrying the West Nile virus in Tulsa County. However, there is another disease borne by mosquitos that has reached U-S shores, and health experts are monitoring for it as well. Nicole Schlaefli is an epidemiologist at the Tulsa Health Department. She says it’s called the Chikungunya Virus and is transmitted from mosquito to human, just like West Nile. The mosquito carried virus began in Africa, like West Nile, then migrated to the Caribbean, then the U-S.

The flu-like symptoms mirror those of West Nile. So far, Chikungunya  cases have only been seen in Florida and on the east coast, but there is fear it will spread to the heartland like West Nile.