“Then I woke up at 3 in the morning,” she says, “and what struck me the most was that my shoulders were on fire. It was like I was being stabbed in both shoulders.” The pain quickly spread to all of Halverson’s joints — her hips, her knees and elbows. Even her fingers and toes hurt.Halverson also had a fever, a rash and painful sores in her mouth. When she flew home to Minnesota, the doctors confirmed what she thought might be true: chikungunya. Though the rash and sores quickly faded, and the illness is rarely fatal, the joint pain it causes can last for months. Halverson is still hurting — she says she still can’t open jars.A year ago, chikungunya didn’t even exist in the Western Hemisphere. It was only found in Africa and Asia. But in October, the mosquito-borne illness cropped up on the island of St. Martin. Then it spread like wildfire. via NPR.
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