What Do You Need To Know About Chikungunya, the mosquito-borne virus?

By: Kate King
kking@callnorthwest.com

As many of you have been seeing or hearing in the news recently, the mosquito-borne virus, Chikungunya is being reported in the United States. The symptoms of Chikungunya are very similar to those of the flu: fever, joint pain, muscles aches, joint swelling, and possible rash. The symptoms typically appear 5-7 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito and last for about a week. However, the joint pain may continue for a longer period of time. The best thing for you to do if you are experiencing these symptoms is to get plenty of rest, keep hydrated, and take a pain reliever/fever reducer. You should also notify your doctor.

Let me first say that many of the cases reported are from people traveling in areas where the virus is found naturally. To date, there are no documented cases originating from within the United States, according to the CDC. The mosquitoes that carry the virus are found throughout the United States, so there is the potential for the virus to become established here.

There are a few things that you can do to help limit the possibility of being bitten by a mosquito and reduce the risk of chikungunya:

  • Prevent standing water
  • Dump water at least once a week to prevent mosquito larvae from becoming adults
  • Wear protective clothing like long sleeves, pants, and close toe shoes
  • Use a protective spray that will repel the mosquitoes
  • Be cautious when standing in shaded areas – the mosquitoes that carry the virus are known for biting during the day, not during dawn and dusk as many other mosquitoes are
  • Hire a professional mosquito control company

If you are experiencing an issue with mosquitoes on your property, or you would like to try and prevent any kind of issues, contact your local Pest Control Company.