During the first six weeks of 2023, Paraguay has recorded 21,069 confirmed chikungunya cases, or some 83 percent of confirmed cases in all the Americas (25,290), according to data from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO).
Currently, all regions of the country report cases of chikungunya. More than 53,000 total cases have been reported to date.
All 23 chikungunya deaths in the Region are also from Paraguay.
This compares to the eight total cases Paraguay saw during the same period last year and 1,339 confirmed cases in all of 2022.
More about chikungunya
The same mosquito that transmits dengue can also transmit the chikungunya virus, in rare cases, it does so simultaneously.
Atypically, the transmission of the virus from the mother to the newborn can occur when the latter has a fever just at the time of delivery or days before. The virus is not transmitted during pregnancy or through breast milk. Neither for hugs, kisses, for food or for the air we breathe.
Chikungunya symptoms usually begin four to eight days after a mosquito bite, but can appear anytime between day two and day 12.
The most common symptoms of chikungunya are sudden fever and joint pain. This pain affects the hands, feet, knees, and back, and can make the person unable to walk and perform other basic actions, such as opening a bottle. The pain can last a few days, and even persist for months or years.
Muscle pain and headache may also appear, as well as a skin rash.
When the picture is severe, alarm signs appear:
• Bleeding in the nose, gums, in vomit or in the feces.
• Abdominal pain, which may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
• Altered state of consciousness, may present with drowsiness or extreme weakness.
If you manifest any of these alarm signs, go immediately to the nearest health service.
Chikungunya treatment is symptomatic to control fever and pain. In 98% of cases it is ambulatory.
You can get chikungunya only once from the same virus genotype
When acquiring the infection, antibodies develop that protect against the virus in a prolonged way. Lifelong immunity is likely, based on the evidence to date, unless new genotypes of the virus appear in circulation.
If you were diagnosed with chikungunya:
• Rest in bed and with a mosquito net.
• Drink plenty of water to avoid complications.
• Consume vegetable soups and fruit juices.
• Control fever with room temperature washcloths and shower.
• Go to the health service immediately if you notice warning signs.
Measures to prevent chikungunya
– It is important to eliminate mosquito breeding sites. Discard any disused object that accumulates water.
– Those useless objects that cannot be discarded, such as household appliances, tires or others, must be placed indoors or covered in order to prevent them from accumulating water.
– Cover tanks, drums or any container that contains water that will be used so that the mosquito does not enter.
– Keep the pools chlorinated and take care that garbage does not accumulate inside the registers so that the water is drained.
– Change the water in the vases daily to prevent them from becoming breeding grounds, after cleaning the container with a brush, water and soap, as well as cleaning the roots and stem. It is equally important to dispose of the water accumulated in pot/planter dishes.
To protect against mosquito bites
– It is advisable to use repellent for outdoor activities.
– For the interior of homes, the use of mosquito nets and metal mesh on doors and windows is recommended.
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