Chikungunya Outbreak?

TINGLOY, Batangas - The health office of this coastal town is awaiting the blood test results on 55 residents that have shown symptoms of the chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus similar to dengue fever, authorities said yesterday.

Municipal Health Officer Emmanuel Obania said they conducted the blood test for the 55 patients residing in the villages of Marikaban, San Juan, and Pobalcion 13, 14, and 15, last Tuesday.

The blood samples have been taken to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) to determine if they had chikungunya, a possibly fatal viral infection. The results are due to be out in the coming week.

Obania said they declared an outbreak after a number of people showing symptoms of chikungunya were brought to different hospitals since January.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), chikungunya causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.
Earlier, the WHO warned that the disease shares some clinical signs with dengue, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue is common.