LEGAZPI CITY, 8Aug2013 (PNA) – Health authorities are closely monitoring a possible chikungunya outbreak in Bicol after 550 people fell ill due to this mosquito-borne disease.
Dr. Aurora Daluro, Department of Health (DOH) Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit (RESU) officer, said Wednesday that of the 550 cases reported during the period January to August this year, 30 were tested positive to the disease while the rest are still undergoing laboratory examination.
Daluro said the recorded suspected chikungunya cases per province are as follows: Camarines Norte, 225; Camarines Sur, 152; Catanduanes, 124; Albay, 43; Masbate, four, and Sorsogon, two.
In a phone interview, the RESU official said the chikungunya disease hit the towns of Sta. Elena in Camarines Norte; Tinambac and Del Gallego in Camarines Sur; Virac and Bagamanoc in Catanduanes; Daraga and Pioduran in Albay; Aroroy in Masbate and Matnog in Sorsogon.
Naga City also reported being hit by the disease.
Last year, 100 people fell ill of suspected chikungunya fever that struck two villages in Sto. Domingo town and a village in Batan Island in Rapu-rapu — all in Albay – based on records of the Provincial Health Office.
Daluro said people affected by the mosquito-borne disease were mostly adult.
“Since these are current cases and basing on records, this situation qualifies under the category of an outbreak,” she said.
The DOH official, however, clarified that the RESU is still waiting for the laboratory results to validate the cases.
Daluro said the clinical symptoms of people that fell ill of chikungunya are fever, rashes and joint pains on the extremities.
She said as a counter-measure against the disease, the DOH urged local government units to organize “Aksyon Barangay Kontra Dengue,” a surveillance team from the provincial down to the barangay levels.
The RESU also urged the public to observe the “Four O’çlock Habit” to eliminate mosquito-breeding places. (PNA)