Minnesota Doctor Working In Haiti Contracts Chikungunya Virus
Mosquito-borne virus “Chikungunya” has health officials concerned of a possible outbreak in the United States, and now a Minnesota doctor claims to have contracted the very illness while working in Haiti.
According to the AP, the emergency room doctor, Jennifer Halverson, woke up in Haiti one morning with severe joint pain, which happens to be the most common symptom of the Chikungunya virus.
The doctor, who works with Minnesota Children’s Hospital and Clinics, said “It was really difficult to move without severe pain. I’ve had a broken bone before and it was more severe than a broken bone.”
Haitian nationals are even calling it the “fever that breaks your bones.”
Chikungunya is transmitted through mosquito bite, and although it usually doesn’t result in death, it’s classified as a very debilitating disease.
The virus has spread rapidly throughout Africa, Asia and Europe. In late 2013, the virus was found in the Caribbean for the first time, according to Center for Disease Control & Prevention.
The virus is not currently found in the United States, though health officials expect risks through infected U.S. travelers.