People recovering from the mosquito borne viral infection, chikungunya, should put mild exercise into their recovery regimen to assist with easing joint pain, says Jamaica’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Kevin Harvey Friday.

Jamaica Image/CIA

He also says some persons may also need physiotherapy depending on the severity of the joint pains.

“In a majority of the patients, symptoms resolve in 1 to 3 weeks. However, some patients might have relapse of joint related symptoms in the months following the illness. Mild forms of exercise and physiotherapy are recommended in recovering persons,” he said.

Chikungunya is characterized by an abrupt onset of fever frequently accompanied by joint pain, according to the World Health Organization. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. The joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days or may be prolonged to weeks.

Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years.

The Ministry of Health is reporting that all Parishes are now impacted by Chikungunya, with increasing numbers being seen in the western part of the Island. There has been a significant decline in new cases in the eastern parishes including St. Thomas, Kingston and St. Andrew and St. Catherine.

According to the Pan American Health Organization, Jamaica has reported nearly 1,000 suspected and confirmed chikungunya cases as of Nov.7; however,some predict the number will likely be much higher. 

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