TACLOBAN CITY – Health officials of Maasin City has issued an alarm over possible outbreak of suspected Chikungunya after 548 individuals were monitored to have been inflicted with the mosquito-borne ailment.
City health officer Francilisa Tan said the reported rise of Chikungunya was only based on house-to-house survey done by nurses of provincial health office in the barangays of Ibarra, Maria Clara, and Pasay.
“We have not officially declared an outbreak since the nurses conducted the interview weeks or a month after the patients manifested the symptoms. All cases are suspected since we have no means to confirm that in our level. There’s possibility that those cases are not Chikungunya,” Tan said in a mobile phone interview.
The youngest victim is a nine-month old infant while the eldest is 85 years old, according to the city health office report.
Local health surveillance officers sent urine samples to Manila of two pregnant women suffering from the viral ailment to find out if they are positive of Zika virus, another mosquito-borne disease.
Citing a separate report, Tan said that 122 suspected Chikungunya patients sought consultation at the City Health Office in the last three months from the three affected villages.
Tan believed that suspected cases have spread in these three areas considering their proximity to Brgy. Ichon village, Macrohon town where cases were noted as early as July.
Chikungunya is characterized by an abrupt onset of fever frequently accompanied by joint pain. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
The virus is transmitted from human to human by the bites of infected female mosquitoes that transmit dengue and Zika.
Chikungunya, however, is not as deadly as other mosquito-borne diseases.
The city government has launched a massive information drive aimed at reducing the number of natural and artificial water-filled container habitats that support breeding of mosquitoes.