HOUSTON - A painful disease spread by mosquitoes has been reported in the Americas and will likely spread into Texas, says Centers for Diseas Control.
Chikungunya has been discovered in the Caribbean, with over 2,200 cases recorded as of Thursday.
The Centers for Disease Control has issued a Level 1 watch for any travelers going to that region.
The viral disease can cause debilitating joint pain that can go on for weeks or months. It also brings on flu-like symptoms.
The good news is this virus is typically not life-threatening.
An infections disease expert at the University of Texas Medical Branch is concerned this virus will spread into Texas since it has already been detected in South America.
"If it is loose, sort of speak, in Latin America, it is very likely it is going to spread to many regions of the continent," said Dr. Scott Weaver, director of the Institute for Human Infections & Immunity at UTMB.
Weaver suspects it will reach into Mexico in the next few months or years. He said it is just too hard to predict its exact arrival but warns it is on the way.
The mosquitoes that carry this virus spread and thrive in regions like Texas because it can survive our mild winters.
Something different about the mosquito the spreads this virus is it prefers to bite people instead of animals so it likes to live in your homes. It also feeds during the day.
Weaver said if we do get an outbreak, it will be small because many of us have air conditioners and screens on our windows.
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