A debilitating new virus could arrive in the United States as early as this summer, reports Vice News. Known as the chikungunya virus, the malady is spread by mosquitoes and originated in southeast Africa.
According to Dr Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, we'll mostly likely see chikungunya on the Gulf Coast as early as May.
Though the disease is rarely fatal, symptoms include horrible pain similar to arthritis, rash-like bumps akin to measles, flu-like symptoms, and extreme headaches.
“It’s like getting influenza. I’m not talking about the common cold. I’m talking about influenza which can lay you on your back, but with very severe pain and swelling in the joints,” said Scott Weaver, director of the Institute for Human Infections and Immunity at the University of Texas, in an interview with VICE News.
The disease is similar to dengue fever in that is is carries by mosquitoes. Since last year, 26,000 people may have been infected in the Caribbean, and there are 4,000 cases confirmed according to the Pan American Health Organization. Currently there is no cure for the virus, but scientists are still working on a vaccine.
[via Vice News]
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