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Philippines health authorities are reporting an 169 percent increase in cases of mosquito-borne chikungunya fever during the first five months of the year, according to report.

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According to the Department of Health (DOH), 43 chikungunya cases were reported from January 1 to May 21 – higher than the 16 cases reported in the same period last year.

The Central Visayas accounted two thirds of the cases with 29, including 26 cases reported in April alone.

Eastern Visayas reported eight cases, which is 19 percent of the total cases recorded, according to the DOH.

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Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain, which is often debilitating. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, and rash.

The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue and Zika, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where they are common. As there is no cure, treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms.

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