Fight the bite in your summer festivities

Published 7:00 am Tuesday, July 15, 2014


No it’s not the lastest tasty creole dish served up by one of New Orleans finest chefs. Instead, it’s the recent disease being dished out by our not-so-friendly nemesis here in south Mississippi, the mosquito.

We know that one of the best things about living in this area is spending our warm summer days in the backyard, or on the water or even on the golf course among other spots. But while you are enjoying the numerous activities that this time of the year bring, also add a round of cautionary prevention to your agenda.

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We urge you to make sure you protect yourself, your children, your friends and family and loved ones from this malady.

While deaths are rare, the symptoms are no summer vacation.

The Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is an arthropod-borne virus, of the genus Alphavirus, that is transmitted to humans by virus-carrying Aedes mosquitoes, according to several medical journals. It is transmitted similarly to dengue fever and causes an illness with an acute febrile phase lasting two to five days, followed by a longer period of joint pains in the extremities; this pain may persist for years in some cases.

The best means of prevention include overall mosquito control and in addition, the avoidance of bites by any infected mosquitoes.There is no specific treatment but medications can be used to reduce symptoms. Rest and fluids may also be useful.

The Mississippi State Department of Health confirmed just this past week two more cases of chikungunya, which until recently was traditionally found in Africa and Asia.

State health officials say in a news release the cases occurred in residents who recently returned from the Dominican Republic and Haiti. In June, a case was reported in a Mississippi resident who had traveled to Haiti.

In this case, three is not the charm.