Published On: Sun, Aug 4th, 2013

Philippines: From South Cotabato to Ilocos Norte, Chikungunya making its presence known

From the southern island of Mindanao to the northern reaches of Luzon island, the mosquito borne viral disease, Chikungunya fever is being reported with more frequency.

Some 179 persons from four villages in San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte were diagnosed with what is believed to be symptoms of Chikungunya disease, health authorities reported recently.



Dr. Leoneil Obien, municipal health officer of San Nicolas, said the residents with suspected Chikungunya fever came from barangays San Marcos, Bugnay, San Agustin, and San Pablo.

Neighboring Mountain Province is reporting three confirmed cases and at least another 50 suspected cases.

Health Education and Program Officer Lily Ann Safilo, in-charge of the Diseases Surveillance Unit of the local health office, said two of the confirmed cases were recorded in the municipality of Paracelis and one in Bontoc. These areas are also reporting suspected cases of dengue fever.

In Bacolod, the Bacolod City Health Office (CHO)  says 11 patients in the city whose blood samples were sent to the Department of Health’s Research Institute of Tropical Medicine were confirmed to have the mosquito-borne disease chikungunya.

Health officials reported in late June, Antique, in the western Visayas, more than 300 cases of Chikungunya were reported, in fact, National Epidemiology Center head Dr. Eric Tayag tweeted extensively about this outbreak.

This outbreak was linked to bamboo fences that are popular in the area that were breeding grounds for the Chikungunya vector.

Finally, about a month ago, health officials in South Cotabato province declared an outbreak chikungunya disease in two villages in Tampakan town, accounting for another 180 cases.

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease first described during an outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952. It is an alphavirus of the family Togaviridae. The name ‘chikungunya’ derives from a root verb in the Kimakonde language, meaning “to become contorted” and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain, according to the World Health Organization.

The virus is transmitted from human to human by the bites of infected female mosquitoes. Most commonly, the mosquitoes involved are Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus, two species which can also transmit other mosquito-borne viruses, including dengue.

The symptoms of Chikungunya include fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash.

There is no cure for the disease. Treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms.


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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Chikungunya | Find Me A Cure says:

    […] Philippines: From South Cotabato to Ilocos Norte, Chikungunya making its presence known […]

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