by Elora Philbrick
edited by Alex Lorenzo
A mosquito-borne virus has been linked to brain inflammation and death, according to livescience.com This virus has been documented in the United States dating back to a year ago, but previously was only found in people who traveled out of the country.
Chikungunya virus is transmitted to people from mosquitoes. The symptoms of this virus range between fever, joint and muscle pain, rashes and joint swelling. People who get the virus can be treated with fever-reducing medications as well as painkillers. Most people recover within a week, however, studies have shown that for some the symptoms can last for years.
During the course of this year 571 cases of the virus had been reported in 42 states. Of those infected some contracted encephalitis, which can lead to dementia and epilepsy among adults. These disorders have been shown to cause death.
During an older study from 2005 to 2006, researchers looked at an epidemic of the virus on Reunion Island that sickened 300,000 people. Of those infected 24 developed encephalitis and out of that 24, four died.