In a follow-up on the chikungunya outbreak , primarily in southern Thailand, health officials now report a total of 1841 cases from 18 provinces through Feb. 17. No deaths have been reported.

Image/Mariamichelle via pixabay
Image/Mariamichelle via pixabay

The provinces hardest hit by this outbreak include Phuket, Pattani, Songkla, Narathiwat and Pangnga.

In Phuket, Public Health Office Chief Tanit Sermkaew said 308 people in Phuket had been confirmed as contracting chikungunya from Jan 1 through Feb 14.

Tanit explained that in Phuket during the period, 234 people were infected in Muang District (including Phuket Town and the southern end of the island), 49 were infected in Thalang District; and 25 were infected in Kathu District (which includes Patong and Kamala).

Chikungunya Virus (CHIKV) is an arbovirus of the alphavirus genus (Togaviridae family) transmitted by the bite of infected Aedes mosquitoes. The word, Chikungunya, translates to “that which bends up”, based on the stooped position of patients during the rheumatic symptoms of the disease.

In humans bitten by an infected mosquito, the disease symptoms usually appear after an incubation period of three to seven days (range 1- 12 days).

CHIKV can cause acute, sub-acute, and chronic disease.

In acute disease, symptoms develop abruptly and include high fever, headache, myalgia and arthralgia (predominantly in limbs and large joints). The appearance of a maculopapular rash is also frequent. Severe forms of the disease are rare. Symptoms usually resolve in 7-10 days, although arthralgia and joint stiffness may persist intermittently for several months.

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.