Friday, July 25, 2014
Beware of Chikungunya fever!
The same insect that brought us the West Nile Virus is infecting people with a relatively new and painful illness.
It’s called Chikungunya fever, and it’s carried by recent travelers to the Caribbean where the virus is spreading at an alarming rate.
The mosquito-borne infection has surfaced in states across the country, including New York, which according to Senator Chuck Schumer’s office, has 30 confirmed cases. Three patients in the past six weeks were treated by Dr. David Hirschwerk, an infectious diseases specialist at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, Long Island.
“We have confirmed one case from the CDC. The other cases are presumed, but not yet proven because testing isn’t back yet,” said Dr. Hirschwerk, who noted the unrelated patients all traveled to the Caribbean.
Senator Schumer is calling on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to issue an immediate health alert for medical professionals in New York and around the country.