Another mosquito-borne virus found in Long Island patients

A mosquito bites a human. Credit: Getty Images
A mosquito bites a human. Credit: Getty Images

Three cases of a mosquito-borne virus that can be relatively disabling have been confirmed in Long Island according to the New York State health department.

Chikungunya (pronounced chik-en-gun-yuh), a virus generally found in Africa, Asia and Europe, was diagnosed in three patients at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset. All three people, unrelated, had recently travelled to the Caribbean where they were exposed to mosquitos carrying the virus.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the chikungunya virus was found in the Americas on Caribbean islands for the first time in late 2013. It can cause fever, acute joint pain, headaches, muscle pain, and skin rashes. Younger people can recover from the virus within weeks but with the elderly, joint pain can last months and even years.

Till recently, those who were infected had caught the virus while travelling. New York State has already reported 20 such cases this year. However, the virus can be imported to new areas by infected travelers. Just last week, Florida health officials found two cases of chikungunya fever that were locally acquired.

“We take the findings of local transmission of chikungunya virus seriously and are working closely with mosquito control officials to prevent additional human disease cases,” said Sheri Hutchinson, spokesperson for the Florida Department of Health.

What sets Chikungunya apart from West Nile is its high rate of infection said Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an infectious disease specialist at North Shore University Hospital. “With West Nile, 80 percent of people exposed don’t show symptoms. With chikungunya, less than 10 percent would be resistant,” he said. But West Nile spreads faster as it is carried by birds. Chikungunya is transmitted from one human to the other via mosquito, limiting its range.

A spokesperson from the New York State health department confirmed that one of the two mosquito species that can transmit Chikungunya has been detected in the southeastern region of the State, including Long Island. But Hirsh maintains that New York City does not have much to fear from it in the coming years.


Dr. Dre is king of hip hop with…

With $620 million in estimated pre-tax earnings, veteran rapper and record producer Dr. Dre topped Forbes list as the highest paid hip hop artist, ousting Sean "Diddy" Combs from the…


Bin Laden son-in-law sentenced to life in U.S.…

A seemingly unrepentant Suleiman Abu Ghaith, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, was sentenced to life in prison on Tuesday in New York following his conviction on terrorism charges.


Bloomberg: Going green will grant you longer life…

Former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg tells Metro that cities are where fighting global warming can make a difference, and increase people’s lifespan.


Ban Ki Moon: "Climate change is an issue…

My message to you is: make your voice heard and your actions count. Change is in the air. Solutions exist. The race is on. It’s time to lead.


Craig Ferguson wants you to see his new…

Craig Ferguson thinks his new game show will become "a comedy show in which a game is played and money is won."


Anthony Anderson on dealing with your 'ish'

Anthony Anderson discusses finding the humor in his "Black-ish" family.


Photos: See who Robert Pattinson was caught holding…

Robert Pattinson has a new girlfriend.

The Word

The Word: Kris and Bruce Jenner's predictably public…

They said it wouldn't last — mostly because of that separation almost a year ago. And now, more than a year later, Kris and Bruce…


Bud Selig honors Derek Jeter as both prepare…

Bud Selig’s 22-year reign as commissioner will end Sunday, and while it’s had its share of negative moments, it also had Derek Jeter.


Column: Geno Smith not the answer for Jets…

There were highs for Jets quarterback Geno Smith in Monday night’s loss to the Bears and there were incredible lows.


3 things that went right in Jets loss…

It wasn't the result the Jets wanted, a 27-19 loss to the Bears, but this team deserves some credit.


Here's the 8 best and worst sporting goodbyes

With Derek Jeter set to retire following the 2014 Major League Baseball season, we look back at some of the great and not-so-great sporting goodbyes.


NYC fall real estate hot list

The upcoming developments and areas everyone's buzzing about.


Milan Fashion Week shows the best of Italian…

Metro rounds up the cut of the collections at Milan Fashion Week.


The 2014 Maker Faire saw robots, printers and…

Got a broken button maker? There’s a fix for that – and Tony Stanzione of the Fixers’ Collective says he can show you how.


First look: Uniqlo's fall/winter 2014 kids collection

Get a sneak peek at Uniqlo's kids and babies fall/winter 2014 line.