June 3, 2014 – Chikungunya US
ANCHOR LEAD: WILL THE VIRUS SWEEPING THE CARIBBEAN MAKE IT TO THE US? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Chikungunya is causing widespread illness in the Caribbean, with thousands complaining of fever and excruciating joint pain, which sometimes persists for months after the acute infection. Michael Klag, dean of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, says it’s just a matter of time before the infection makes it to the US.
KLAG: Chikungunya is coming, there’s just no doubt about it. It’s close to us, just as it was spread from Africa to the Caribbean it will eventually get here. There have been over 100 cases reported from 2009 onward of Chikungunya imported from countries where its endemic but it hasn’t propagated here. We haven’t had an infected pool of mosquitoes. When that happens we will then have transmission here, so it’s important that when you travel you protect yourself so then you’re also protecting your community from being infected. :31
Klag says mosquito control efforts can help limit domestic spread of Chikugunya. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.