In a follow-up on the chikungunya outbreak in Pakistan, health officials in Sindh province are reporting 4,312 cases of chikungunya year-to-date. Karachi has been hardest hit.

Aedes aegypti/CDC
Aedes aegypti/CDC

This is up from 405 cases reported in 2016, according to a Business Recorder report.

The increase in cases have been attributed to an “absolute disregard for adequate and safe disposal of garbage and rampant negligence towards sewerage and sanitation.”

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.