Health officials in the city of Pergamino in Buenos Aires province, Argentina report the chikungunya case tally in the city has risen to 19, with several of the patients with no travel history, and considered autochthonous.
It is the first time in the city’s health history that this disease has been reported and there are those who say that once this virus is present in the community, it is here to stay, which requires maintaining active epidemiological surveillance.
Secretary of Health of the Municipality, María Martha Perretta said in addition to the 19 known cases, there are still several suspects under study.
Dr. Perretta noted that since the notification of the first case was produced, what the Ministry of Health did was issue an alert to the medical community and to laboratories. “We sent a note to the Medical Association, to the guards at the clinics and the Hospital so that they are aware of the situation and can communicate it to their professionals so that Chikungunya Fever is present within the diagnostic suspicion when patients present with a non-specific febrile syndrome and symptoms compatible with this disease”.
Asked about the actions that are taken after the detection of a case, María Martha Perretta explained: “Every time a case is reported, a protocol is executed within the framework of which the nine blocks surrounding the block are fumigated of the case in question and a process of searching for feverish people is started to carry out the corresponding studies. Homes are visited, information is provided on prevention measures and even indoor fumigation is offered, something that the community does not always accept that we do” .
“The main task is to act on the mosquito because this is a disease that is transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes. Also to eliminate the presence of larvae and instruct the community to reinforce prevention measures to avoid the bite of mosquitoes and the formation of breeding sites in homes and around homes”.
The Municipal Health Secretary insisted that what you need to know is that “there is an epidemiological alert, that in countries of the region such as Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil there are many cases and that for this reason it is important to survey the travel history of every person with symptoms.
“Those who have traveled in the last 14 days, and present symptoms such as fever greater than 38.5, joint pain and rash, should consult a doctor and not self-medicate,” he remarked, noting that “in the current context, regardless of having traveled or not, it is It is necessary to consult a doctor before the sudden appearance of these symptoms”
“There is an outbreak in the city and we are committed to blocking it, it is an extremely difficult task due to the mode of transmission of this disease. Achieving this objective depends not only on our actions but also on the early suspicion of the medical community, the laboratory and the each neighbor who in the current scenario is called upon to check their patio, eliminate containers where water can accumulate and encourage mosquitoes to deposit their larvae there,” he said. And at this point, the official stressed that “this is a collective work that requires everyone’s responsibility and commitment.”
“From the Municipality we are working in search of the feverish in the areas where the cases have been reported and fumigating in the corresponding areas and we ask the community to take extreme prevention measures.”
Chikungunya is caused by the chikungunya virus and is spread to humans through mosquito bites. Outbreaks have occurred in countries in Africa, Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean, Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Most people infected with chikungunya virus develop some symptoms. Symptoms of chikungunya disease usually begin 3–7 days after a bite by an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms are fever and joint pain. Other symptoms may include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling, and rash. Most people get better within a week; however, some can have severe joint pain for months.
People at risk for more severe disease include newborns infected around the time of birth, older adults (65 years or older), and people with medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease. Death from chikungunya is rare.
There is no specific treatment or approved vaccine for chikungunya.