Woman Goes Blind After Being Bitten by a Mosquito

mosquito closeup on skinIf you like to spend time outside this time of year, chances are this week's health news freakout will hit you pretty hard. According to various news sources, a woman lost her vision after contracting the chikungunya virus from a mosquito while on vacation.

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If you are like me and have never heard of the chikungunya virus, there is probably a reason for that! This virus, which causes fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, rashes, and other debilitating symptoms, is generally found in mosquitoes in the Caribbean and Latin America. 

According to Live Science, the 69-year-old British woman, who recently lost her vision in one eye due to this virus, contracted it from multiple mosquito bites she got while on vacation in Grenada. At first, doctors were perplexed by her symptoms and tested her for everything from HIV to Lyme disease to syphilis and dengue fever. By the time they identified the virus and began treating her, she had suffered permanent damage to her optic nerves.

More from The Stir: Mosquito Bites vs. Bed Bug Bites: How to Tell the Difference

While all of this does sound scary, the good news is that there has so far only been one case reported in the United States. So, unless you are heading for a tropical Caribbean vacation, you probably don't need to worry too much about contracting chikungunya.

That said, this woman's story is a reminder that mosquito bites can have consequences beyond being annoyingly itchy! So remember to use repellent and to keep covered up during peak mosquito times.

 

Image via Vitakot/iStock

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