Published Date: 2013-08-04 11:45:55
Subject: PRO/EDR> Chikungunya (29): Philippines (MT)
Archive Number: 20130804.1862679
CHIKUNGUNYA (29): PHILIPPINES (MOUNTAIN PROVINCE)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Sat 3 Aug 2013
Source: Philippine Information Agency [edited]
The Mountain Provincial Health Office (PHO) here has recorded 3 confirmed cases and another 50 suspected cases of chikungunya fever in the province.
Health Education and Program Officer Lily Ann Safilo, in-charge of the Diseases Surveillance Unit of the local health office, said cases of the chikungunya fever were 1st detected in early part of July , when most patients coming to the hospitals for treatment showed symptoms of the mosquito-borne viral disease.
Safilo said of the 3 confirmed chikungunya cases, 2 were recorded in the municipality of Paracelis and one in Bontoc. These 2 towns, including Bauko, are also the areas where most suspected dengue cases were recorded from January to July 2013, this year, and in the previous years.
Provincial Health Officer Nenita Lizardo said that while chikungunya fever is less fatal than dengue, patients are advised to seek immediate medical treatment.
Lizardo said the Bontoc General Hospital is now packed with more than 130 patients, beyond the hospital’s bed capacity of 100, mostly patients showing signs and symptoms of the chikungunya fever.
Based on the health advisory disseminated by the PHO, chikungunya is a viral disease that is spread by mosquitoes and causes fever and severe joint paint. Other symptoms of the disease include severe headache, nausea, prolonged fatigue, chills, vomiting and rash.
To prevent and control the further spread of the disease, Lizardo urged all sectors in the communities to step up their cleanliness drives to destroy and eliminate all possible breeding sites of chikungunya [mosquito vectors] as well as dengue carrying mosquitoes.
The health advisory also suggested self-protection measures such as strengthening ones immune system through practicing a healthy lifestyle, drinking plenty of water, wearing long sleeved clothes and long pants to cover the limbs, using mosquito repellents and coils, among others.
Last month [July 2013], as part of the province’s observance of the National Disaster Consciousness Month, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office led a series of anti-dengue cleanliness drives amid reports of the increasing suspected dengue as well as chikungunya cases, particularly in this capital-town’s central barangays.
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts
[Although ProMED-mail has posted small chikungunya outbreaks in 6 localities on Luzon Island this year (2013), this is the 1st report from Mountain province there. It is not clear from the above report whether there are 50 additional suspected cases or more that are admitted to the local hospital. If most of the 130 hospitalized patients are, indeed, chikungunya cases, this could develop into a significant outbreak in this area. Reduction of the breeding sites of the vector mosquito would help to reduce transmission of the virus. Chikungunya virus infections can pose a significant public health problem because of high morbidity and incapacitating arthralgia that can persist for weeks or even months in infected individuals.