The Pernambuco State Department of Health (SES) reported an additional 10 fatalities linked to the mosquito borne viral disease, chikungunya during the past week, according to a G1 Globo report (computer translated).

Public domain image/Deyvid Aleksandr Raffo Setti
Public domain image/Deyvid Aleksandr Raffo Setti

Health officials say the number of chikungunya-related fatalities are now 46. The capital city of Recife has reported the most deaths at 17 since the beginning of the year. This is somewhat unusual as chikungunya does not often result in death

In all, 20,677 confirmed cases of chikungunya have been reported in the state.

Through July 9, Brazil has seen nearly 107,000 suspect and 63,000 confirmed chikungunya cases, according to Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) data.

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.