After the Davao City Health Office (CHO) confirmed the first case of chikungunya in Barangay Ilang last Wednesday, June 8, 2022, the City Government of Davao through the CHO Tropical Disease Prevention & Control Unit intensified intervention efforts to control the Aedes mosquito species, the same mosquito that carries dengue, in the area.
In an interview with the City Information Office Monday, CHO Tropical Disease Prevention and Control Unit Nurse Ernie Cequiña said that upon reports of suspected chikungunya cases in Barangay Ilang and Barangay Panacan, the CHO responded with critical mosquito control measures, such as an awareness drive in the barangays, Aedes larvae surveillance, fogging, and later conducted misting or indoor residual spraying.
Cequiña said that test results from the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Manila have so far confirmed two chikungunya cases in Barangay Ilang which has l 16 more suspected cases; while results for the suspected 28 cases in Barangay Panacan are still pending. Chikungunya symptoms are particularly difficult to determine as the patients usually manifest symptoms similar to that of dengue (fever, nausea, pain behind the eyes) but with more severe joint pains and early onset of skin rashes.
Cequiña added that the CHO Tropical Disease Prevention and Control Unit remains steadfast in monitoring these cases and conducting intervention measures. However, he argued that protective measures, such as maintaining the cleanliness of the surroundings, remain the best method of preventing an outbreak.
The CHO nurse also reminded Dabawenyos to practice the 4S procedure; which stands for “Search and destroy” mosquito breeding grounds, practice “Self-protection” from mosquito bites, “Seek early medical consultation”, and “Say yes” to community prevention and intervention measures.