By Chris Bunting
Maybe he was just looking for a quick way to get hammered, but one enterprising mosquito plunged his blood-sucking proboscis into Lindsay Lohan while she was vacationing in French Polynesia last week.
And while the little skeeter is probably still sleeping it off in some Tahitian flowerpot somewhere, LiLo definitely got the worst of it, contracting an increasingly hyped disease called Chikungunya (pronounced “chicken goon ya” — or just “Chik-V,” to friends).
If you’ve never heard of it, thankfully that mouthful of an illness is rarely if ever fatal, but the symptoms — which can last from just a few days to years on end (in chronic form) — aren’t at all fun: high fever, headaches, joint and back pain, nausea, rash, to name a few.
The two main culprits spreading the virus are the ISIS of the culicid world: the yellow fever and Asian tiger mosquitoes — the last two creepy crawlies you want tapping your veins on your next vacay.
So if you’re the sort who doesn’t like the smell of DEET in the morning, here are five tropical, mosquito-harboring places to avoid visiting until there’s a vaccine (did we mention Chik-V’s been tested as a possible WMD?).
Winter in Canada isn’t sounding so bad, after all, is it?
What Ebola is to Africa, Chik-V is to the Caribbean, unfortunately defining the region in the media of late. Jamaica, for example, just devoted $250,000 to the “surveillance” of the disease that has hit its soil, as well as St. Martin, Aruba, St. Lucia and the British Virgin Islands.
Even St. Barts is not immune.
After a few confirmed carriers of Chik-V found their way to New York, Sen. Chuck Schumer called last summer’s World Cup in Brazil “an incubator for the virus to spread.” Which means there was a lot of worry during last summer’s massive, Brazil-wide World Cup.
Thanks a lot, 98-foot-tall Jesus.
Our neighbor to the south got its first case of Chik-V back in December 2013 in Jalisco — since then, others in Mexico City, Coahuila, Durango, Quintana Roo, Tabasco, Veracruz, and Chiapas have called in sick because of it.
Mexico’s Health Secretariat said the disease is “here to stay,” but the nation is taking measures to control it.
There are plenty of ways to contract diseases in Thailand, but one of the least fun has to be from being bitten by a vampiric bug. Yet, so it goes with Chikungunya, which is old hat here: Its first outbreak was documented in Bangkok back in 1958.
Of course, it’s here. While there have been hundreds of cases of Chik-V in New York and other states, all of them were brought in from the outside. But here in the Sunshine State, according to NPR, the virus has “set up shop,” with local, homegrown mosquitoes infecting at least 11 people. Yikes!
More from the New York Post: