Health officials M’lang, North Cotabato on the southern island of Mindanao have declared a chikungunya outbreak after some 50 people contracted the mosquitoborne viral disease in the past week.
City health officer, Dr. Glecerio “Jun” Sotea said at least 50 individuals from Barangay Poblacion A tested positive for the virus. Testing was performed by the Manila-based the Regional Institiute of Tropical Medicine (RITM).
“We received the result just last week and the RITM confirmed that the blood samples we sent to them showed that indeed chikungunya was behind the illness of our constituents in Mlang,” Sotea said.
A number of the patients were hospitalized for their illness.
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus. It can cause high fever, join and muscle pain, and headache. The joint pain may last for months or years and may become a cause of chronic pain and disability.
There is no specific treatment for chikungunya infection, nor any vaccine to prevent it. Pending the development of a new vaccine, the only effective means of prevention is to protect individuals against mosquito bites.