Chikungunya infecting people in the U.S.

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – A new mosquito borne illness had made it to the United States.

The disease is called Chikungunya and there’s no cure. This mosquito spread disease started in Africa years ago and started showing up in the Caribbean late last year. Now people have been infected here in the United States, including two in Rhode Island last week.

Most of the U.S. infections involve people who recently traveled to the Caribbean, but the potential for it spreading here is high.

Bob Russell of American Pest Solution told 22News, “You’re not going to contract the disease by being near someone that had it. You’re going to get it from a mosquito that bites a person that’s infected and then bites you after the fact. So that’s how it can be transmitted and it can happen pretty quickly.”

Those infected usually experience high fever and very painful joint and muscle pain.

Right now, there’s no cure or vaccine and the illness can last for weeks. Mosquitoes spread the disease so using insect repellent and wearing long sleeved clothes is your best defense.

Mosquitoes don’t typically like being out during the heat of the day, but instead prefer dawn and early evening.

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