A rapidly spreading viral disease has erupted in the sunny islands of the Caribbean. Victims of the chikungunya disease “suffer searing headaches, a burning fever and so much pain in their joints they can barely walk or use their hands. It’s like having a terrible flu combined with an abrupt case of arthritis. Hospitals and clinics throughout the Caribbean are seeing thousands of people with the same symptoms, victims of a virus with a long and unfamiliar name that has been spread rapidly by mosquitoes across the islands [over 100 new cases per day] after the first locally transmitted case was confirmed in December” (MSN, May 23, 2014).
The disease was first diagnosed in Africa in the 1950s, but has made its way to the Caribbean through international travel (ibid.). Documented cases have also been reported in South America (French Guiana and Guyana) with nearly 60,000 cases reported throughout the whole region. Although this disease is very painful, it is rarely fatal (Associated Press, May 28, 2014). This recent outbreak illustrates just how quickly a dangerous disease can spread.
Bible prophecies warn that one of the signs of the end of the age would be “pestilences” or disease epidemics that strike large numbers of people (Luke 21:11; Revelation 6:1-8).
For more information about prophesied disease epidemics, be sure to read our article “Disease Epidemics: The Fourth Horseman.”