ILOILO CITY, Aug. 21 (PNA) – The Iloilo Provincial Health Office (IPHO) has downplayed a report that about 200 people in a remote village in the municipality of Igbaras in southern Iloilo have been downed by chikungunya.
Dr. Ma. Socorro Quinon, IPHO assistant chief, said an inquiry team from her office had been sent to the place and blood samples from the subjects were sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Disease in Metro Manila for laboratory scrutiny, and the process may take days to find out if really the chikungunya virus is the culprit.
However, suspicion is strong to indicate a chikungunya infection, but the Health Department is not ruling out the possibility of the victims having been infected either by German measles or some form of allergy.
Anybody can be vulnerable to chikungunya, but pregnant women face a greater risk as contracting it could endanger the unborn child, Dr. Quinon said.
Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne tropical disease aping the symptoms of dengue albeit not as deadly as the latter but can still be quite debilitating.
Its symptoms include fever, rashes, joint pains in the extremities which may last two-five days.
There is no specific treatment yet to stop the infection brought in by the virus, but strengthening the immune system may help reduce the suffering, Quinon said. (PNA)