The Newsroom    Published Monday, Feb. 27, 2006, 11:23 AM
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'Stooping disease' epidemic ravages tropical islands

New Scientist (Internet / Print) 02/23/06 http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn8765 A team of four experts from the World Health Organization has left for the Indian Ocean island of Reunion to investigate a the world's biggest ever outbreak of a debilitating mosquito-borne disease which causes its victims to double over. People infected by the virus can also experience recurring episodes of this pain, even after the virus appears to have cleared from their bodies, says Robert Tesh, an expert on mosquito-borne viruses at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, US. He says that these returning arthritic pains may be caused by an immune system response. Tesh explains that no quick treatment exists for chikungunya. Doctors primarily help to alleviate the symptoms, such as fever and dehydration. “There isn’t much else you can do,” he says, adding that he knows of no approved vaccine against the virus.



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