Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral infection characterized with high fever and severe joint aches, as well as headaches, nausea and extreme fatigue. There is no vaccine or treatment for chikungunya. The virus has spread across the Caribbean, to Central America and South America.
The state of Guerrero, where Acapulco is located, has reported more than half of the chikungunya cases found in Mexico this month. Authorities have deployed 550 health officials and 62 vehicles to fumigate streets and homes to kill mosquito larvae to combat this outbreak.
The city is conducting laboratory tests on some 2,000 people with symptoms of the virus to see if they have chikungunya. Cornelio Bueno, deputy secretary of the state's disease control and prevention department, said, "The rains of May are coming, so homes must be clean to avoid water accumulation and the proliferation of mosquitoes. This is what we fear."
Officials said, "The at-risk areas in Acapulco are outside the tourist zone, in the rougher neighborhoods that have been hit by drug gang violence and other crimes."
Rufino Silva, another state health official, said, "5% of the 300,000 families whose homes have been fumigated in the past are refusing to open their doors again over fears that criminals could rob them."