Bloody Lymey

A Blog About Living with Lyme Disease

Another Bug-Borne Disease to Fret About: CHIKV

on January 18, 2013

Why am I dabbling in Mosquitoes?  Well?  There is a new mosquito-borne illness threatening the U.S. and other parts of the world:  Chikungunya aka the alphabet soup of CHIKV.

Its connection to Lyme Disease are the symptoms.  According to the linked article below, “Few patients die of the illness, and about one-quarter show no symptoms whatsoever. Many patients, however, experience prolonged joint pain, and there is no effective treatment for the disease, leaving physicians to focus on symptom relief.”

http://t.healthyliving.msn.com/health-wellness/climate-change-may-bring-another-mosquito-borne-illness-to-us-1

Ouch. Sounds all too familiar, doesn’t it?

Other symptoms may sound familiar, too.  These include rashes (no bull’s eye), fevers of up to 104F, headache, photophobia/sensitivity to light, muscle pain and insomnia.

Why the Weird Name? 

According to Wikipedia, the name stems from a word meaning “to bend up” and refers to the distinctive posture of those afflicted with it.

Prevention:

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), the best way to prevent CHIKV is to prevent mosquito bites themselves.  To do this:

1.  Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants

2.  Use insect repellants containing DEET

…………………..if you are opposed to DEET and its toxicity then consider lemon eucalyptus oil or Avon’s Skin So Soft.  Dryer sheets are reputed to repel them as well – – rub them over your skin and keep some in your pockets and under a hat.

………………….Higher concentrations of DEET are NOT more effective.  It simply lasts longer between sprayings.

3.  Limit time outdoors during peak mosquito-bite hours such as dusk and dawn

4.  Remove standing water sources from your property (bird baths, kiddie pools, etc.)  Unclog rain gutters as well.   If you have empty flower pots outdoors, turn them upside down.

5.  Get a bird feeder!  Birds eat insects.

6.    Wear pale, neutral colors such as khaki.  Studies show that mosquitoes are more attracted to brighter colors.

7.  Fix your screens!  Check your screens regularly for holes or gaps.  Make sure your screen door is tightly shut and that the screen is up to snuff.

8.  Keep clean.  Mosquitoes find sweat and body odors most alluring.

9.  Citronella candles or torches

10.   An offbeat tip is to spray your lawn with Listerine (has anyone ever heard of this?)   OR to spray your lawn with garlic powder and water.  They say to do this every couple of weeks or after heavy rains.  I do not know the ratio or how effective this is.

Also:  this article suggests certain foods to eat – http://nutritiondiva.quickanddirtytips.com/what-to-eat-to-avoid-mosquito-bites.aspx

 

Conclusion:

The powers that be are predicting this virus arriving in the U.S. due to global warming.  The northern states can start worrying about it in August through September while milder climates such as Georgia can begin fretting about it in June.  Climates with warm weather year round should take precautions ……. year round.

I’m not posting this to invoke paranoia and angst.  It’s just one more thing to worry about, just another reason to take more precautions when you’re outdoors.

 

 


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