Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mosquito-borne chikungunya disease

Health authorities in Sarangani province have declared the recent occurrence of the mosquito-borne chikungunya disease in two of its municipalities as under control even as it continues to monitor other possible cases in several communities in the area.

Dr. Arvin Alejandro, Sarangani assistant provincial health officer, said Wednesday they have not monitored new cases of the viral disease in parts of Kiamba town where it was initially reported in December.

At least 12 of the initial 39 suspected chikungunya cases in the area turned out positive based on blood analysis made by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

The provincial epidemiology and surveillance unit said the confirmed chikungunya cases came from communities situated within the boundaries of Kiamba and Maitum towns.

"We have so far controlled it in the sense that no new cases have emerged recently in areas where it was first monitored," Alejandro said.

But the health official said they are continuously monitoring several communities in the two municipalities due to other possible cases of the disease.

He specifically noted communities in Barangay Tablao in Kiamba, specifically those situated near the Pangi River.

The Sarangani health office sent to the RITM additional blood samples of residents from the area who had exhibited suspected symptoms of chikungunya, he said.

A fact sheet released by the World Health Organization (WHO) described chikungunya as a viral disease that is spread mainly by Aedes mosquitoes, which are known carriers of the deadly dengue virus.

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