LEGAZPI CITY, June 27 -- Some 64 villagers fell ill from suspected Chikungunya fever that struck eight villages in Guinobatan town in Albay, the Provincial Health Office (PHO) said Tuesday.
A provincial epidemiology team was sent on Tuesday to check reports by the town’s Municipal Health Office (MHO) that Chikungunya, a mosquito-borne disease, hit the villages of Poblacion with 32 cases, Muladbukad Pequeña with 26 cases while the villages of Ilawod, San Francisco, Malabnig, Banao, Masarawag and Maninila have one reported case each, according to Dr. Antonio Ludovice, acting Provincial Health Officer.
An initial report sent by Dra. Joanna Limos, municipal health officer of Guinobatan, said that the people who fell ill manifested on and off fever, skin rashes and joint pains in the extremities -- the clinical symptoms of Chikungunya.
The MHO reported that the cases of dengue-like symptoms were observed since April but during health surveillance, the cases of the mosquito-borne virus turned out to be Chikungunya cases.
PHO said that a possible outbreak could be declared following the significant rise in the number of people becoming ill due to Chikungunya fever in Guinobatan town.
As this developed, Albay Governor Al Francis Bichara directed the PHO to closely coordinate with the MHO and carry out disease control measures to stop the possible spread of the disease.
A PHO epidemiology surveillance team has started gathering laboratory examinations from the patients which would be sent to the Department of Health in Bicol for analysis.
The PHO medical team dispatched medicines to treat the patients suffering from the disease.
As a counter-measure against the disease, the PHO has urged local government units to organize an “Aksyon Barangay Kontra Dengue,” a surveillance team from the provincial down to the barangay level.
The PHO urged residents to observed the “four o’çlock habit,” which means to stop at this time during the day so as to eliminate the breeding places of mosquitoes.
In previous years, at least 100 people fell ill from Chikungunya fever that struck two villages in Sto Domingo town and a village in Batan Island in Rapu-Rapu town, both in Albay. (Mar S. Arguelles/PNA)