Is Chikungunya Having an Effect on Caribbean Travel?

Over the past few months, the virus called chikungunya has continued to make its way throughout the Caribbean, including parts of Central America.  It is carried by the Tiger Mosquito and causes fever and severe joint pain.  Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.  The joint pain can last for a few days or a few weeks. In rare cases, it may go on for months.  

Currently, there is no vaccine or cure for chikungunya.  As long ago as 2010, NIH tested an experimental chikungunya vaccine with very hopeful results.  Researchers continue to work on the vaccine, but it is unknown as to when it could become available to the public.  

I am currently conducting research for our annual spring break trip and am wondering if we should be concerned.  Will a good dose of DEET keep us chik-v free?  How prevalent is it, really?  

A contact in Anguilla told me that some of her friends have contracted it and it's not that bad.  And if you are vigilant about using mosquito repellant, you're fine.  But what I've read online makes it sound much more serious than that.  If anyone has any insight or experience, I would love to hear from you!  Please Contact Us!