Is Chikengunya the New West Nile Virus?


New Mosquito Born Disease Threatens Southern States:  Chikungunya

Mosquito’s are an annoying fact of living in the south. And is it not bad enough that when a mosquito bites you that you have to itch and endure the  embarrassment of a red spot on your skin that won’t ever go away quick enough!

chikungunya

Well, get ready to face your fears, because there is a new type of diseased to beware of that has been reported in Caribbean and now in parts of the US. The painful disease called  Chikungunya is making headlines in the Lonestar state and and it is migrating north from the Caribbean to the US.

A level one watch has been issued by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Victims of the disease suffer a tremendous amount of pain, including flu-like symptoms and joint pain so intense it can make moving the limbs near impossible to move. This pain can go on for weeks or even months. However, the one redeeming quality about the disease is that it is not typically deadly. (Nevertheless it is not anything you wan’t to mess with or catch!)

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Texas and other Southern states are currently advised to beware of disease and mosquito bites in general. Currently there have been over 2000 recorded cases of Chikungunya with even more cases popping up in South America.

Studies are showing that the type of mosquitoes which carry this disease prefer to prey on humans instead of animals and they are more active during the day time instead of the more traditional dawn and dusk patterns of most mosquitoes. Additionally, the mosquitoes carrying this disease thrive in areas like Texas due to the warm climate and temperate winters.

How can we stop this mosquito scourge from growing larger and larger? The answer is to create thousands of tire swings. Well actually the real answer is not so much tire swings as it is to eliminate as many tires from setting around an gathering water as possible. Tires provide a perfect habitat for a mosquito to breed because they trap water inside of them and provide a measure of shelter for the larvae. Other potential breeding grounds include birdbaths, child pools, puddles or  swamp land.

To protect your own home and yard there are a few easy and simple solutions to take:

  1. shutterstock_143416567Get rid of any tires, tarps, or places where water is able to collect and stand.
  2. Keep your grass short and shrubs trimmed back
  3. Apply Cedar oil based repellents using hand sprayers or with an automated sprinkler connected system like this one by Skeetobuster.

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