BILIRAN -- The outbreak of chikungunya in the island-town of Maripipi has led to 101 persons infected of the virus and could possibly spread into other municipalities in the province, a municipal health officer said.
The municipal health office has recorded 76 chikungunya cases from April to July 30. This prompted the local government of Maripipi to place the town under state of calamity.
The numbers rose quickly as authorities recorded 101 cases of chikungunya as of 5 p.m., Thursday, August 2.
Dr. Gabby Velasquez, Maripipi municipal health officer, said in an interview on Wednesday, August 1, that there is still a possibility for the virus to spread if it will not be contained.
“We have to control mosquito vector to avoid spread of the illness,” Velasquez said.
At present, a health technical working group is in-charge of the planning and technical operations to fight chikungunya.
Velasquez said that the disease is not as serious as dengue. However, he encouraged the public to take precautions to avoid this kind of disease.
“It’s a new emerging illness and it is also increasing and the increase is unusual as compared to previous years,” Velazquez said.
In his social media account, he encouraged the public to destroy mosquito breeding places, protect themselves from mosquitoes, go to the health centers if they already experiencing the symptoms, and support the fogging.
The Department of Health, in cooperation with the Provincial Government of Biliran, has provided fogging machines and additional medicines to the places affected by the outbreak.
According to the World Health Organization, chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes that causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms also include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, and rash.
There is no commercial vaccine yet. However, treatment is directed primarily at relieving the symptoms, including the joint pain using anti-pyretics, optimal analgesics, and fluids.
“The virus is only self-limiting that only lasted for 12 to 15 days. Most of the cases, joint and body pains will remain depending on the immunity of the body,” Velazquez explained. (SunStar Philippines)