|Description:||Captured in July, 2014, during an outbreak of chikungunya among Caribbean non-travelers, this image depicts a large number of discarded rubber car tires that had been piled beneath a shade tree located somewhere on the island of St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands (USVI). Like other refuse that has the ability to contain standing rain water, these tires have the potential to act as a prime breeding ground for Aedes spp. mosquitoes responsible for spreading chikungunya throughout a community.|
Health officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and all across the Americas have been tracking the spread of the chikungunya (pronunciation: chik-en-gun-ye) virus since December 2013 when it was first discovered in the Caribbean on Saint Martin. While outbreaks of the virus have previously been reported in some parts of Africa, Europe, Asia and the Pacific, this is the first time the virus has been found among non-travelers in the Western Hemisphere. Chikungunya virus is transmitted to people through mosquito bites. Mosquitoes become infected when they feed on a person with the virus. Infected mosquitoes then spread the virus to other people.