Opinion > Guiangster
Chikungunya, ‘cousin’ of Dengue

Written by Ilocos Sentinel posted on Sunday, July 28th, 2013

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This dengue-like disease caused by mosquitoe’s bite has struck at least five barangays of San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte. While it is not a life-threatening disease compared to the dreaded dengue, the officialdom of San Nicolas quickly declared the town under state of calamity in an effort to contain the plague before it will spread in wider scale.
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Many of us may think Chikungunya is a new domestic virus that sickens people here. The truth is the viral disease had been detected here in the Philippines in the 1980s, according to Manila-based lady doctor Ivonne Guillermo, daughter of former army Gen. Ferdinand Guillermo, native of Brgy. San Pablo, San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, who immigrated to Hawaii, USA after his retirement from the AFP service.
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The charming Dra. Ivonne, who was vacationing here in Ilocos Norte and attended the burial of a close relative in Brgy. San Pablo, San Nicolas, told this writer that Chikungunya originated from Africa. A medical website says it was first identified in Tanzania, East Africa in the early 1952. Then it caused periodic outbreak in Asia and Africa since the 1960s. It is rarely fatal when Chikungunya downs a human victim.
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Medical experts say the symptoms of Chikungunya include high fever, joint pain, joint swelling, headache, nausea, rash, fatigue and muscle pain. The symptoms will last 2 to 3 days and the virus remains in the human system from 5 to 7 days. It strikes both children and adults unlike dengue which afflicts mostly the kids.
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The big question mark is: Of all the 21 municipalities and two cities of Ilocos Norte, why only the town of San Nicolas has cases of Chikungunya as far as the provincial health office record is concerned? Please correct me if I am wrong but so far I have not heard of any local health advisory about the genuine reason why only San Nicolas town is currently afflicted with Chikungunya, despite that the place is very near to the border cities of Laoag and Batac as well as the border towns of Paoay and Dingras.#(JUN R. GUIANG)

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