DOH Uncovers Dengue-Like Disease

Health officials warned against a dengue-like disease that has affected several persons in Cagayan de Oro City, Pangasinan, and Metro Manila this year.

The Department of Health (DOH) said there were more than 1,000 cases of the mosquito-borne disease called Chikungunya, last year. At present, there are over 150 suspected cases of the disease.

Chikungunya is a viral disease that is spread by mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain. Symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, and rash, the World Health Organization (WHO) said.

WHO experts warned that Chikungunya might be mistaken as dengue as it shares some clinical symptoms with the latter. There is no cure for the disease and treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms.

DOH spokesperson Dr. Eric Tayag said that dengue mostly affects children while Chikungunya affects adults although both present rashes and fever. In Chikungunya, arthritis is also present. Experts have recorded cases of Chikungunya in the Philippines since the 1990s.

"Some people suffer long-term arthritis for years and even after they have recovered from their initial infection," Tayag said adding that Chikungunya is not fatal.