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Nearly 6,000 Cases of Chikungunya Reported in Thailand Until August 2019

Pattani has reported the highest incidence of the mosquito-borne disease, chikungunya , followed by Ranong, Phuket, Tak and Songkhla provinces.

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Updated:September 13, 2019, 12:20 PM IST
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Nearly 6,000 Cases of Chikungunya Reported in Thailand Until August 2019
Representative image. (Image: Reuters)
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Thailand Ministry of Health reported that since the beginning of the year through August 4, 5,996 cases of chikungunya have been reported from 44 provinces. This is an increase of 1,500 cases in about one month.

A mosquito-borne disease, chikungunya is not fatal in nature. This viral disease was first described during an outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952. It is an RNA virus that belongs to the alphavirus genus of the family Togaviridae.

The name “chikungunya” derives from a word in the Kimakonde language, meaning “to become contorted”, and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain.

Pattani has reported the highest incidence, followed by Ranong, Phuket, Tak and Songkhla provinces.

Chikungunya is characterized by an abrupt onset of fever frequently accompanied by joint pain. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. The joint pain is often very debilitating, but usually lasts for a few days or may be prolonged to weeks.

Chikungunya can cause acute, sub-acute, and chronic disease. In acute disease, symptoms develop abruptly and include high fever, headache, myalgia and arthralgia (predominantly in limbs and large joints). The appearance of a maculopapular rash is also frequent.

Severe forms of the disease are rare. Symptoms usually resolve in 7-10 days, although arthralgia and joint stiffness may persist intermittently for several months.

The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue and Zika, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where they are common. As there is no cure, treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms.

Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years. Occasional cases of eye, neurological and heart complications have been reported, as well as gastrointestinal complaints.

Serious complications are not common, but in older people, the disease can contribute to the cause of death. Often symptoms in infected individuals are mild and the infection may go unrecognized, or be misdiagnosed in areas where dengue occurs.

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