Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitos. Until recently, outbreaks had only occured in countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Indian and Pacific Oceans. The virus didn't show up in the Americas on the islands in the Caribbean until late 2013. Since then, it has spread throughout the islands - recently making it to Haiti. The most common symptoms of the disease are fever and severe joint pain. These usually occur 3-7 days after being bitten. The joint pain is extremely painful for a short time. While the disease is not fatal, in some cases, the pain becomes chronic and lasts for weeks. There is no cure - just treatment for the symptoms.
Chikungunya has rapidly spread through Haiti - possibly infecting millions of people living there. Personal reports from missionaries affiliated with MFI put the infected at over half of the population. One missionary couple who run an orphanage and school were both infected. The disease has also affected over half of the more than 30 kids at the orphanage.
Please pray specifically for those who have already contracted the disease. Pray that their symptoms will be removed and that their pain is reduced. Pray for the missionaries that they will find relief and also will be able to treat and care for those who are infected. MFI continues to fly regularly during this time. The crew are taking extra precautions while in the country by applying insect repellant. Pray that God will protect them from the disease as they continue to serve him. Lastly, please pray for the team leaders of mission teams. Pray for wisdom as they make decisions on whether or not to postpone or cancel their trips.