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Mosquito- borne virus spreads in Haiti

MosquitoMosquito- borne virus spreads in Haiti

By Dedrick D. Henry, Sr.

A mosquito-borne virus detected in Haiti has spread quickly in the Caribbean.  1,529 cases of the chikungunya virus have been confirmed by Ronald Singer, a spokesman for Haiti’s health ministry. 900 of the cases were found in the west department near the capital, Port-au- Prince and 300 cases have been confirmed in north- western Haiti. These numbers have made quite a significant jump since just last week, when only 14 cases were confirmed. So far only one recent visitor from the United States had been infected with the virus.

In Bay County, Florida health related problems include Eastern Equine Encephalitis, St. Louis Encephalitis, and West Nile Virus. However, nearby in the Caribbean and Central American, other mosquito-transmitted diseases are common (e.g., dengue, malaria, and yellow fever.) The symptoms of the virus may include a sharp fever, headache, body rash and joint pain. There is no cure for the chikungunya virus. It is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito which also transmits dengue fever.

 Mosquitoes of Florida

There are currently 80 species of mosquitoes known to occur or have been identified from various collections in Florida, more than any other state. Of these, 33 species can cause pest problems for man and/or domestic animals in all or parts of the state. Thirteen species are capable of transmitting pathogens that cause disease in humans and animals. They all vary to some extent in their individual preferences for types of blood meals, egg laying sites, time of day they will fly, temperature at which they are most active, and seasonality.


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