Yesterday, driving to work I heard NPR state that there are now 66 cases of Chikungunya in the Dallas area.
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. The joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days or may be prolonged to weeks. Serious complications are not common.
There is no cure for the disease. There is no specific antiviral drug treatment for Chikungunya. Treatment is directed primarily at relieving the symptoms, including the joint pain using anti-pyretics, optimal analgesics and fluids. There is no commercial chikungunya vaccine. Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years.
The best means of prevention is overall mosquito control and the avoidance of bites by any infected mosquitoes. The proximity of mosquito breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for chikungunya. Wearing bite-proof long sleeves and trousers also offers protection.