Climate change could help bring a viral disease called chikungunya to New York City. And if you live there, you miiiight want to get a little freaked out about this, because as LiveScience reports, chikungunya makes swine flu look like piglet sniffles.
Chikungunya causes severe joint pain, fever, rash and other symptoms that can last for months, even years, and in unusual cases, death. There is no vaccine and no treatment.
This disease — the name means “that which bends,” because victims double over with joint pain — can only be transmitted by a couple of species of mosquitoes. But one, the Asian tiger mosquito, already lives in the greater New York area. As climate change brings milder winters, more of these mosquitoes hatch and come out to bite us. And there are documented cases of travelers bringing the disease from its existing sphere (Asia, Africa, Italy) over to our shores. All it’ll take is a particularly mosquito-heavy summer for this disease to spread.
Um, does anyone have a good natural bug repellant recipe? Because I need to go make a tubful.
Chikungunya disease in NYC? Warming could make it happen, LiveScience.
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