In a follow-up to a story earlier this week about an outbreak of Acute Fever and Rash (AFR) on American Samoa, health officials there have now confirmed the cause to be from chikungunya virus.
Earlier, health officials suspected dengue fever as the cause of the outbreak that has affected more than 100, including one fatality.
A Radio New Zealand report today states three of the samples sent off island for testing have been confirmed as the virus, which are the first confirmed cases of chikungunya in American Samoa.
The Department of Health’s acting medical director, Dr Fuimaono, says they are glad to now know the exact type of illness they are dealing with.
“We’ve been encouraging and we’ve been informing our community, that this is symptomatic where we treat it with tylenol and lots of fluid. The bottom line is prevention, so far we have about 100 plus cases, we’re happy now that we know what sort of guide that we’re going to [with that] confirmation of the chikungunya”
Chikungunya is an illness caused by a virus that spreads through mosquito bites. The most common symptoms of chikungunya are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, or rash. Chikungunya disease rarely results in death, but the symptoms can be severe and disabling. Most people who get sick feel better within a week. In some people, the joint pain may last for months or years.
There is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent chikungunya. The only way to prevent chikungunya is to prevent mosquito bites. Preventing bites can be difficult, but it is important as you can get sick after just one bite. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page