BEST OF 2014 // #89: Chikungunya arrives.

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Best of 2014: Science - exoplanet

In July of 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed that Chikungunya, a recently introduced mosquito-born virus had made it into the western hemisphere and into the United States.

READ MORE //  It’s Time to Declare War on Mosquitoes

Chikungunya has no treatment and can cause joint pain and fever.  Originally from Africa and Asia, the virus spread to europe and then into the Caribbean islands where the first transmitted case was reported back in 2013.

The disease travelled rapidly in 2014, reaching the United States among 30 other countries.

On October 27th, the CDC reported a staggering 760,000 suspected cases, with 14,000 of those being confirmed. Of those, 1500 were in the continental United States.  Although most cases were caught abroad, on July 17th, a Florida man had the dubious honour of being the first patient to contact the virus while at home.

By the time October 30th arrived, that number jumped to eleven.  All cases to date were contracted in Florida.

Aedes aegypti during a blood meal.
Aedes aegypti during a blood meal. Via CDC.

The mosquito breeds in question for transmitting the virusaedes aegypti and aedes albopictus  – are also known for being the leading cause of Dengue fever.

There is no known cure for Chikungunya, but is rarely fatal and tends to clear up in most patients within a week.

There’s 99 more stories from 2014.  Check out the Best of 2014 series here.

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