Tourist Beware Traveling Thru Caribbean
Between honeymooners and vacationers, more Americans love to travel to get-a-ways like St. Martin, British Virgin Islands, Dominica, French Guiana, Guadeloupe and St. Barthelemy. These areas have been hit with a painful mosquito-borne virus that's been spreading during the last few months called Chikungunya. About 3,700 cases are confirmed and the Caribbean Public Health Agency is urging visitors to wear long sleeves and to have on hand plenty of insect repellent high in DEET. So far, there have been some cancellations, but the local hotel association is downplaying the situation. Pronounced chik-en-GUN-ya, it produces a high fever and muscle pain. Though not usually fatal, the effects, like pain in the smaller joints, tend to last for months. Before flying off, you should check the area you plan to travel to. According to the World Health Association, there have been two million cases in the last nine years. An epidemic hit places like Northern Italy in 2007. Before that, thousands were sickened in Reunion, a French island east of Madagascar.