Lurking in the Shadows

Mosquito Bite

Allergic Reaction To Mosquito Bite 

First Chikungunya and now Zika have “gone viral (literally) in the Caribbean and South America. It is unknown why these viruses went from relative obscurity in the African rain forests to become widespread epidemics.

They are not the only viruses being transmitted in the Caribbean by mosquitoes. Mayaro virus, which is related to the Chikungunya virus is also transmitted by mosquitos. Reported symptoms include (but are not limited to) high fever at 40 °C, joint pain, myalgia, headache, asthenia and some diarrhea.

The  primary transmission zones are in Brazil and French Guiana. Tourists from France have been diagnosed with Mayaro* on their return from French Guiana. Mayaro virus has also been detected in some of the Caribbean Islands. The similarity of symptoms produced by mosquito vectored viruses is challenging medical authorities with identification. A viral infection may be misreported based on symptoms alone. Genetic diagnoses are more reliable, but are underutilized because of the cost. The focus on Zika has led to more genetic testing for viruses and is detecting less common viruses such as Mayaro. Research on these diseases can potentially lead to better identification, management programs and health outcomes.

*Marion Llagonne-Barets & colleagues.  A case of Mayaro virus infection imported from French Guiana.  Journal of Clinical Virology.  Volume 77, April 2016, Pages 66–68

About jjneal

Jonathan Neal is an Associate Professor of Entomology at Purdue University and author of the textbook, Living With Insects (2010). This blog is a forum to communicate about the intersection of insects with people and policy. This is a personal blog. The opinions and materials posted here are those of the author and are in no way connected with those of my employer.
This entry was posted in by jjneal, Health, Mosquito diseases. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Lurking in the Shadows

  1. Pingback: Lurking in the Shadows – Entomo Planet

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