By Marie Tonette Grace Marticio
MARIPIPI, Biliran – Local authorities have declared a state of calamity in this island town to control the spread of Chikungunya, a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes.
According to John Paul Roca, Department of Health Regional Office 8 Information Officer, they have already 79 Chikungunya confirmed cases.
He lauded the efforts of the local government unit in order to stop the spreading of the said disease.
Dr. Gabino Velazquez, the town’s health officer, said they first monitored Chikungunya in April when three persons got sick of the virus.
He added that the number of cases has been going up since then with clustering in six out of the fifteen barangays affected namely: Bato, Banlas, Binalayan, Ermita, Binongto-an, and Danao.
In 2016, DOH-8 recorded 71 cases in Barangays Agutay and Danao.
Roca pointed out that although the symptoms of Chikungunya may be somewhat similar to dengue, it is not something that the people should really worry about because the viral disease only lasts for about 3-7 days in one’s body.
“Although it is considered as a family of dengue with the female aedes aegypti as carrier, there are still differences in the symptoms such as high grade fever, joint pain and swelling, which are not present in dengue,” Roca explained.
DOH-8 encourages the public to also observe the same 4S Advocacy with dengue in order to prevent the said viral disease: search and destroy the areas where the mosquitoes breed; secure self-protection by wearing long-sleeved clothes and use anti-mosquito products; seek early consultation especially if fever does not stop within two days; and support fogging and spraying but only in identified hot spots.