Mosquitoes are Bringing a New Disease to Australian Shores
An Asian mosquito that is known to spread a debilitating virus is now making its way to Australia.
The chikungnunya virus is spread by the Asian tiger mosquito and causes severe pain.
One traveller, Barbara Rogers, said it felt like all her bones were broken and that standard pain killers such did nothing for her pain. The disease also cause a blue-red rash over her body and severe joint pain.
Reports of chikungunya in Australia jumped from 19 last year to 73 in the first half of this year. The disease causes arthritis that can last for months and there is no cure or vaccine at the moment.
Chikungunya became a more serious disease when it mutated in 2005 on an island in the Indian Ocean. The change allowed it to spread more effectively through the Asian tiger mosquito.
After sweeping across Africa and Europe, the mosquito and virus are now a serious health risk for Australia.
The mosquito usually enters the country on manufactured equipment and boats. Once it arrives, it spreads through normal human transport systems.
The Asian tiger mosquito bites aggressively and health officials are concerned this could exacerbate the spread of the disease.
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