Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Putting a face on disease vectors affected by global warming

MosquitoItalian Virus Outbreak May Portend Global Spread

By Martin Enserink
ScienceNOW Daily News
7 September 2007

Another pathogen has jumped its traditional boundaries to begin what some fear is a march around the globe. This time the invader is a virus that causes chikungunya, a crippling and painful disease until now found only in the tropics. This summer, it sickened more than 160 people in and around two small villages in Italy. Chikungunya is transmitted by the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), a species that is taking the world by storm, and medical entomologists worry that the disease has the potential to follow the insect. Chikungunya is rarely fatal but can cause severe fevers, headaches, fatigue, nausea, and muscle and joint pains.

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