Actress Lindsay Lohan has contracted a mosquito-borne virus that can cause debilitating joint pain, according to the actresses' social media accounts. She reported catching the virus while on vacation in French Polynesia.
On Saturday (Dec. 27), Lohan tweeted a photo of herself out on the water with the caption, "Before I got chikungunya". Later, the actress posted to Instagram, "I refuse to let a virus affect my peaceful vacation."
Chikungunya is transmitted by mosquitoes. The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain, but patients may also experience headaches, muscle pain and joint swelling, and in some cases, the pain can be disabling, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There is no specific treatment for the condition, but patients may take medicines to reduce pain and fever, the CDC says.
Most people with chikungunya get better within a week; however, some people have pain for months. Those at risk for severe illness include newborns, adults ages 65 and older, and people with other medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease, the CDC says. [ 5 Surprising Facts About Pain ]
The virus is native to regions in Africa and Southeast Asia, but last year, cases were reported in the Americas for the first time, including the Caribbean.
This year, chikungunya cases have also been reported in French Polynesia, a group of islands in the South Pacific Ocean. People who spend a lot of time outdoors in the region, or who stay in rooms without window screens, are at increased risk for catching the disease, the CDC says.
It's not clear if a doctor officially diagnosed Lohan with chikungunya.
To avoid getting chikungunya, the CDC recommends taking steps to prevent mosquito bites, including covering exposed skin with clothes, using insect repellent, and sleeping in rooms with window screens or air conditioning.
- 10 Celebrities with Chronic Illnesses
- 7 Devastating Infectious Diseases
- 6 Superbugs to Watch Out For
© 2012 LiveScience.com. All rights reserved.