Outbreak of Chikungunya virus reported in Hat Yai

Songkhla: An outbreak of the chikungunya virus, a mosquito infection which usually occurs in Africa has been reported in Hat Yai City. This has raised an awareness to organize a campaign to educate the locals about the disease and how to take preventive and control measures.

DrKriangsakLiewchanpattana said dozens of patients have sought treatment and advice at his clinic in the city, a tourism and economic hub in this southern province. He said the disease first spread in Southern Africa, notably in Tanzania and Mozambique. The disease was first known was “Gungunwala” 65 years ago and people infected with this disease would suffer symptoms of fever and joint pain. The disease is spread between people by stripe mosquitos, which also spread dengue fever.

Patients of both chikungunya and dengue fever both suffer from high fever, but those affected by chikungunya would suffer additionally from pain in their ankle, wrist and finger joints.

Dr Kriangsak said the best preventive measure is general mosquito control and avoid going to areas with a high density of mosquitoes.  Preventive measures are always clear away any unused water to prevent mosquitoes from breeding and use mosquito nets and insect repellents.

Unfortunately, there is currently no specific medicine to treat chikungunya and most chikungunya patients are given pain killers and fever medicines.

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