MANILA (Mabuhay) — Even as it confirmed an outbreak of chikungunya in Antique province, the Department of Health on Friday urged the public anew to take measures to prevent the spread of the disease.
National Epidemiology Center head Dr. Enrique Tayag said the prevention measures are similar to those being taken against the killer disease dengue.
“(The) DOH confirms (a) chikungunya outbreak in Patnongon, Antique with 313 cases. No deaths,” Tayag said in a series of posts on his Twitter account.
He said the cases started in April, adding mosquito larvae were found in bamboo fences.
Tayag said chikungunya is transmitted through mosquito bites, adding its symptoms are similar to those of dengue.
Among the symptoms are fever, rashes and severe joint pains, he said.
He added chikungunya outbreaks in the Philippines “coincide with dengue season during the rainy months.”
“Areas with known dengue risk is also at risk for chikungunya,” he said.
Tayag said the prevention measures against chikungunya may be similar to those against dengue – “elimination of mosquito breeding sites just like what we do for dengue in which communities are mobilized.”
“Dengue and chikungunya cause the same symptoms initially but in later stages dengue can result in shock, bleeding or organ failure,” he noted.
But chikungunya in later stages will manifest as severe joint pains which can last for years, he said.
“For both, transmission is via mosquito bites,” he said. (MNS)