While most Americans probably haven't heard of Chikungunya, Ann Powers, a research microbiologist at the Centers for Disease Control, has been studying the virus for 15 years.
The mosquito-carried virus made the news recently when the first locally-transmitted case of it appeared in Florida, July 17. Now, the public and medical researchers are wondering if it may spread further into the United States, and how serious it might be.
The research that Powers does at the CDC's Division of Vector Borne Diseases in Fort Collins may help answer some of those questions.
Medical tests are rarely a pleasant experience, especially if you're worried that something could be seriously wrong. That's true even though we know that regular screenings and tests often help doctors catch issues early.
Standing outside her sixth-floor apartment in the Bronx, Lissette Encarnacion says she sometimes forgets the place belongs to her.
"I'm thinking I'm at somebody else's [house]," she says. "I'm ringing my own doorbell."
Encarnacion used to have a career in banking, and lived in a real home with her son and husband. Then one night everything changed, she says, when her husband came home drunk and angry, and threw her off a balcony.