Chikungunya reports from Philippines

News about: Philippines

Date: Thu 27 Jun 2013
Source: Philippine Information Agency [edited]

The chikungunya virus, another mosquito-borne disease similar to dengue, has found its way to South Cotabato province.  Dr. Rogelio Aturdido Jr., head of the Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO), told Philippine Information Agency 12 yesterday that 2 cases of the disease were found in Sitio Bukang-liwayway, Barangay Kipalbig in nearby Tampakan town and validated by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Metro Manila.  "The other week, we sent several serum samples to RITM. Of these, 2 were found positive of the chikungunya virus," Dr. Aturdido said.  Aturdido said although the disease is not deadly like dengue, it remains a major concern because victims could suffer from severe joint pains for up to 6 months or longer.

Information from the website of the World Health Organization (WHO) says chikungunya is a mosquito-borne disease [virus] which was 1st described in an outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1954.  Like dengue, the virus is transmitted via bites of infected female mosquitoes, mostly _Aedes aegypti_ and _Aedes albopictus_. Illness usually occurs between 2-12 days from [initial] infection.  "Chikungunya is characterized by an abrupt onset of fever frequently accompanied by joint pain. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. The joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually ends within a few days or weeks. Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years," the article continues. "The name 'chikungunya' derives from a root verb in the Kimakonde language, meaning 'to become contorted,' and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pains."

Aturdido said that although the responsibility to address this concern rests primarily on the local government unit of Tampakan, the IPHO is ready to extend help.  He emphasized, however, that since the disease's source and means of transmission is similar to dengue, prevention of its spread is also largely dependent on community efforts.  "What is required is to strictly follow the 4S strategy," Aturdido said.  4S anti-dengue strategy consists of the following: Search and destroy; Self-protection measures; Seek early consultation; and Say no to indiscriminate fogging. In January this year [2013], Department of Health (DOH) 12 reported that 57 cases were clinically diagnosed from Sarangani Province. The number consisted of 35 cases from Kiamba and 22 from Maitum. According to DOH, Chikungunya cases have also been reported in Metro Manila, Laguna, Pangasinan and other parts of Mindanao.
[Chikungunya virus is endemic in the Philippines, so this type of small outbreak, and the one below, are not surprising. Because there is no commercially available vaccine for chikungunya virus, the only preventive action is elimination of _Aedes_ vector mosquito breeding sites and avoidance of mosquito bites per the 4S strategy mentioned above.

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Philippines (Antique)
Date: Wed 26 Jun 2013
Source: ABS-CBN news [edited]

Health officials have declared a chikungunya outbreak in 3 barangays in Patnongon, Antique province -- Mabasa, Magsaysay Tamayok and Poblacion, where 6 people tested positive for the disease and nearly 100 more are being monitored.
The Department of Health (DOH) has extended its monitoring and probe of other possible cases in nearby areas.

Like dengue, chikungunya [virus] is contracted through mosquitoes and also has similar symptoms.

Health officials reminded the public to keep their surroundings clean [to eliminate mosquito breeding sites] and not to self-medicate if they start exhibiting symptoms of chikungunya.

Source: ProMed Newsgroup Date: 29-Jun-2013 13:14:20