Lindsay Lohan Battled Mean Girls, Now a Mean Virus

When a celebrity contracts an infectious disease it's kind of a mixed blessing. On one hand, awareness of the illness skyrockets but on the other it's kind of frustrating that the media pays much attention only when a celebrity contracts the illness.

Such is the case with Lindsay Lohan's recent bout with chikungunya which has caused millions of cases in the Caribbean, hundreds of importations to the continental US, and even caused mosquito pools in Florida and Texas to become infected with the virus. In Florida, 11 cases of local transmission have occurred from infected mosquito pools. 

Since there is no antiviral or vaccine for chikungunya, the chief means of combating this disease, which can cause debilitating joint and muscle pains, is to avoid being bitten by the Aedes mosquitoes that harbor the virus. Easier said then done, however, as people who frolic in the Caribbean don't have a habit of donning clothes that cover their bodies or wearing mosquito repellent consistently. What does work, however, is to reduce the breeding sites of the mosquitoes by removing standing water and receptacles (e.g. bird baths, tires, etc.) that collect water.

It's clear that Ms. Lohan's infection and her public statements on her illness will focus more attention on this disease and that is unequivocally a good thing. 

Plus, we know the Mean Girls were no match for her and, hopefully, this mean virus will succumb as well.