20 people infected with Chikungunya virus, 3 on Long Island
By Kemberly Richardson
Monday, July 21, 2014
MANHASSET, N.Y. (WABC) —
New York health officials confirm there have been 20 cases of the Chikungunya virus this year, including three people infected on Long Island.
On three different occasions, three complete strangers came to North Shore University Hospital and each time, doctors delivered the same unsettling news, each had picked up the Chikungunya virus while traveling in the Caribbean.
Dr. Bruce Hirsch, North Shore University Hospital, says “They come back with the legacy of having pain and disability for weeks, for months and sometimes longer,” said Dr. Bruce Hirsch, of North Shore University Hospital.
Dr. Bruce Hirsch specializes in infectious diseases here at North Shore, says the older the patient is the tougher it is to deal with those often debilitating symptoms.
Plus, there’s another huge concern.
“We’re just a few hours away from anywhere on the planet and a person with the virus inside their system is venerable to getting a mosquito bite and that mosquito can spread it to another person,” Dr. Hirsch said.
People living in or those who have traveled to parts of Africa, Southeast Asia and South America have been diagnosed with the virus.
Even more troubling, according to the New York State Department of Health, in 2014, roughly 20 people in New York, who traveled outside of the country, specifically to the Caribbean, have come down with the nasty condition.