By NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

Health officials in the state of Pernambuco in northeast Brazil is reporting a 147 percent increase in chikungunya cases so far in 2021.


The state confirmed 473 infections up to May 2021; in the same period last year, 191 people were diagnosed with the disease.

According to local authorities, 36 municipalities in Pernambuco are at risk of an outbreak of infestation by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which transmits chikungunya and other diseases classified as arboviruses, such as dengue and zika. Another 88 cities are on alert. Recife is the municipality that concentrates the largest number of cases of chikungunya, with 201 diagnosed people, a number that corresponds to 42.4% of the total.

Officials explain that the increases are due to a decrease in the services provided by public agencies to contain the disease because of the pandemic, the population has stayed in their homes for a longer time and increased rainfall.

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Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain, which is often debilitating. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, and rash.

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.