LAUR, Nueva Ecija—A Chikungunya outbreak has struck Laur town in Nueva Ecija after the number of cases of the mosquito-borne viral disease surged to over 500, the town government said.
The government held a health summit on Thursday to address the impact of the disease on three of its worst-affected villages.
Dr. Karoline Gabuyo, municipal health officer, said Chikungunya, a virus spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito, has affected 382 people in Barangay (village) Siclong, 37 in Barangay San Fernando, and 192 in Barangay San Vicente in the past two weeks.
Dr. Benjamin Lopez, Nueva Ecija health officer, said Chikungunya also affected 150 people in San Leonardo town and 70 people in San Isidro town.
Laur is located in the eastern part of Nueva Ecija, while San Isidro and San Leonardo lie in the province’s southern section. Gabuyo said the local government has distributed paracetamol, ascorbic acid and pain killers to address patient symptoms like high fever, joint and muscle pains, severe headache and rashes.
The health offices also embarked on community cleanup to address the proliferation of mosquitoes in these areas.
To help explain the dangers of Chikungunya, the officials also mounted skits performed by actors dressed as giant mosquitoes. Lopez, however, said the disease has not led to any fatalities, unlike dengue which is transmitted by the same mosquito.
Gabuyo said children aged 1 year old and adults aged 65 and older are vulnerable to the disease.
In Camarines Norte, at least 301 cases of Chikungunya were recorded in Barangay Tabogon, Sta. Elena town, in the past two weeks, according to Dr. Myrna Roxas, Camarines Norte’s provincial health officer.
Roxas said in a phone interview that the mosquito-borne malady has hospitalized at least two victims but noted that it was not as deadly as dengue.
Roxas stressed the name Chikungunya might seem exotic but assured the public that it was not an alarming disease that could kill patients like dengue.
She said Chikungunya would afflict a person for more than a week.
Roxas said Chikungunya has no cure but the patients were treated based on their symptoms, such as providing medication for fever or joint pains.
Roxas said a clean-up drive was being undertaken in Tabogon to kill the mosquito carriers and prevent the spread of Chikungunya. Armand Galang, Inquirer Northern Luzon, and Juan Escandor Jr., Inquirer Southern Luzon