THE Cavite Provincial Health Office has declared an outbreak of Chikungunya in the town of Indang after 470 suspected cases were reported since January this year.
Department of Health (DOH) spokesperson Enrique Tayag told The Manila Times that a team will be dispatched to Indang to verify and evaluate how bad the reported Chikungunya outbreak there.
Tayag said the outbreak declaration is at the level of the provincial health office and that the number of cases has yet to be authenticated by the Department of Health.
It is uncertain at this time if the reported cases are confined in one barangay or a particular area.
Despite the seemingly high number of reported Chikungunya cases in Indang, Tayag said there is no need for people to be alarmed.
“We do not need to be afraid but we have to be cautious especially cases of three viruses rise consequently. We have Dengue. We have Chikungunya. We have the threat of Zika,” he said.
A Chikungunya patient, he added, needs no hospital confinement as long the proper medicine if given to address fever and joint pains.
On September 3, DOH data showed that Region 4A or Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) reported more than one thousand Chikungunya cases but there was no declaration of an outbreak.
Of these cases, 23 were reportedly from Indang town.
Tayag said the health department is looking into the number of cases per barangay and per town or city before an outbreak is declared.
Chikungunya is a mosquito-transmitted disease often mistaken as Dengue owing to their similarities. Symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, vomiting, and rashes appear between four and seven days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Joint pain that is typical in Chikungunya patients, however, is uncommon to Dengue patients.
Aedes aegypti, the mosquito-carrier of Chikungunya, is the same type of mosquito that transmits Dengue and Zika and thrives everywhere in the country.
Unlike Zika, Chikungunya can only be transmitted through bites of an infected mosquito. But, like Zika, one becomes immune to Chikungunya after getting infected once.
Dengue, meantime, has four strains so a patient can suffer from it more than once.
Convinced that the fight against these diseases is by getting rid of mosquitoes, Tayag reminds everyone to observe the 4S campaign- Search and destroy mosquito breeding places; Self-protection; Seek early consultation; and Say no to indiscriminate fogging.