Chikungunya Update

Back in May, ICC informed supporters of the mosquito virus ravaging the Caribbean. Chikungunya continues to spread across Hispaniola, especially in Haiti, where residents are packed together in slums and struggle with poor sanitation. The virus has since spread to the U.S., infecting 243 people according to a "Time" report.

Last week, however, a Florida man who has not recently traveled outside the country became the first person in the U.S. to be infected by the mosquito-borne virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with the Florida Department of Health, will monitor the area for additional cases and uncover how the Florida man became infected. The CDC believes that chikungunya in the U.S. will follow a similar pattern to that of the dengue virus, meaning that imported cases will cause some local transmission, but not a widespread outbreak.

The best way to stay protected from the virus is to spray exposed skin with repellant containing DEET and wear long sleeves and pants when possible. Health officials also recommend getting rid of any standing water outside the home, where mosquitoes generally breed.

For more information on Chikungunya and Haitian perception of the virus, you can read the Igarapé Institute's latest report here.