By Ameena Tara D. Manio
According to the Provincial Health Office (PHO), there are no recorded and confirmed cases of Chikungunya(CHIKV) in the province of Cagayan.
“There have been out-patient cases who are suspects of the disease and blood samples have been collected from these patients for confirmatory tests, but not one Chikungunya case has been confirmed as of news time,” said Jane Taguinod of PHO-PESU.
Meanwhile, PHO confirmed that Cagayan remains to be safe from the threats of a Chikungunya outbreak as there has been no recorded case and no confined patient afflicted with the CHIKV.
Chikungunya fever is transmitted to humans by Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopticus mosquitoes, the same species that spread dengue fever. Its symptoms include sudden onset of high fever, severe joint pains, muscle pain, headache, back pain and rash.
CHIKV has similar symptoms with dengue but is not as fatal as Dengue fever. Dengue fever which has been reported to have 7 deaths in Cagayan from January 1 to September 7, 2013 based from the PHO-PESU Dengue update.
The CHIKV does not often result in death, but the symptoms can be disabling, and some people may get severe complications especially among high risks individuals such as the infants, elderly and people with chronic conditions such as: diabetes, hypertension, etc.
Dr. Marcos Mallillin Provincial Health Officer said there is no specific treatment for the disease but analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication may reduce the pain and the swelling. Aspirin should also be avoided. “There is no vaccine against this virus so preventive measure depends entirely on avoiding mosquito bites which occur mainly during the daytime and eliminating breeding sites,” Mallillin added.
The PHO recommends the public to be aware on environmental and household clean-up to prevent outbreak or any further increase in the cases, and emphasize early consultation for early diagnosis.