Frances Robles writes in The New York Times on a vector borne virus, originally from Asia and Africa, advancing through the Caribbean. The virus, known as Chikungunya fever, was first identified in St. Martin in December 2013. The December 2013 case was the first in the Western hemisphere; Chikungunya fever is likely to stay in and spread through the region. Tourism within the Caribbean has decreased due to confirmed Chikungunya fever cases and fear of contracting the virus. The symptoms of the virus are similar to those of dengue fever, which has spread through the Caribbean in the past decade as well. Various control mechanisms have been put in place including “fogging, surveillance of suspected cases, biological lab investigations and a public-awareness campaign alerting people to the dangers of standing water, where mosquitoes lay their eggs.” The virus is not likely to impact the United States because of climate differences.
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