The Chikungunya Virus May Be The Next Insect-Borne Disease To Fear In America

The Chikungunya Virus May Be The Next Insect-Borne Disease To Fear In America

For the past two years American health officials have been focusing on the spread of the Zika virus within North America. Fortunately, it looks like health officials have Zika under control within the US, as infection rates have dropped to nearly zero. However, Zika is only one of many mosquito-borne diseases that have negatively impacted different regions of the world. Many Americans are well aware of this fact. But many Americans are also under the impression that other mosquito-born diseases are only problematic in far away regions of the world. However, this assumption is not accurate, as America is not far away from certain regions where the chikungunya virus has ravaged certain populations. For example, the Dominican Republic has seen recent outbreaks of a new form of the chikungunya virus. Researchers from the University of Florida have recently assessed the probability of similar outbreaks occurring within the US, especially within the state of Florida. The results of their studies are causing concern among American health officials.

There are two mosquitoes that spread the chikungunya virus. One of these mosquitoes is the aedes aegypti, which is also the primary Zika carrying mosquito. The other mosquito is the Aedes albopictus, which also carries Zika, and populates the United States. Researchers compared the number of Americans that have contracted chikungunya with the number of Dominicans that have contracted the virus.

In 2014 the first case of chikungunya was discovered in Florida. This was the first case of chikungunya in history that was discovered within America. Between the years of 2014 and 2016 thirty eight hundred Americans have contracted the chikungunya virus. Since then, cases of chikungunya have also been increasing in the Dominican Republic, as well as other regions of the world. In response to these alarming results, the author of the abovementioned study claims that the chikungunya virus is a major public health concern in America. Experts warn against Americans abandoning their use of anti-mosquito products in response to the decline of American Zika cases.

Do you think that the recent Zika outbreak is only the beginning of the negative consequences of climate change?

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