Since our last report on the chikungunya outbreak, primarily in the southern provinces of Thailand one month ago, the number of cases has quadrupled from 538 to 2,143 cases through Dec. 10.
No deaths have been reported.
Thirteen provinces have seen cases with Songkla, Satun, Narathiwat, Pattani and Phuket reporting the greatest incidence.
A Phuket news source reports Phuket Public Health Office (PPHO) Chief Tanit Sermkaew said, “Chikungunya virus infections are increasing in areas where people live close together, especially in densely populated areas in Rassada, Wichit and Talad Yai (in Phuket Town), as well as in Rawai.”
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is transmitted by the bite of Aedes mosquitoes, particularly Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. In humans bitten by an infected mosquito, the disease symptoms usually appear after an incubation period of three to seven days (range 1- 12 days).
CHIKV can cause acute, sub-acute, and chronic disease.
In acute disease, symptoms develop abruptly and include high fever, headache, myalgia and arthralgia (predominantly in limbs and large joints). The appearance of a maculopapular rash is also frequent. Severe forms of the disease are rare. Symptoms usually resolve in 7-10 days, although arthralgia and joint stiffness may persist intermittently for several months.
The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue and Zika, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where they are common. As there is no cure, treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms.