Thanks to Dr. John Carroll for passing along this comment in a Haiti forum, and to it author Jacqui Labrom, a British-born resident of Haiti, for allowing me to excerpt it:
Speaking as someone suffering from Chikungunya I would like to ask a serious question: Are mosquitos good for anything?
They bring possibly millions of deaths to people in the world and cause untold problems and sufferings to millions of others.
This particular disease we're suffering in Haiti is a case in point.
Anyone who is in the scientific world could perhaps tell us!!
A Haitian said to me yesterday that if this disease was fatal half of Haiti would probably be dead by now. It's absolutely rampant here in Port-au-Prince and other places. I haven't heard much about the North though.
It is absolutely non discriminatory - rich or poor, white or black, foreign or Haitian - everyone is attacked. Even a second time.
We are already starting to see tourists and other visitors starting to cancel, and hotels I've been in touch with are saying the same thing. This was looking like a mega busy time with so many large groups of visitors/tourists coming in in the next 2 months, that this could be disastrous for tourism.
I have written the Ministry of Tourism this morning to ask if the Minister plans on addressing the situation. And if she can put pressure on the Ministry of Santé to arrange spraying in the public areas, and also perhaps put up signs at the airport suggesting visitors use mosquito reppellant and take precautions.
I gather a closely kept secret from visitors in NY is the West Nile Virus but NY city fumigates on a regular basis.
The girl who works with me has told me that she has seen pickup trucks around PauP spraying in the streets, so something is happening that's for sure. All the Haitians I speak to know all about it - where it comes from, what to take and not to. So they have been getting this information from announcements on the Haitian radio via the Min. of Santé.
The Haitians say to bathe often, as the water seems to soothe the pain, and it's true.
Does anyone know if this disease has a time expiration date??? I know you are all going to laugh when i ask that, but is it likely to go on and be with us all the time like the cholera? Or is it seasonal?
I wish I could answer Ms Labrom's last question, but while the CDC has a lot to say about chikungunya, it doesn't mention it as a seasonal illness. As for her first question, mosquitoes are a tasty snack for countless bird and bat species. Otherwise, no noticeable value to them.