By Sarwell Meniano, PNA

TACLOBAN CITY — The local government unit in the island town of Maripipi, Biliran has declared a state of calamity to contain the Chikungunya outbreak that already afflicted 79 residents as of Wednesday.

On Monday, the town council declared a state of calamity, a move that will fast track efforts to combat the virus transmitted to people by mosquitoes.

Maripipi town health officer Gabino Velazquez said in a mobile phone interview they expect the number of Chikungunya victims to increase in the next days as health workers were mobilized to check more victims in remote villages.

“I believe that are more than 100 cases in our town if we will include those that are not reported to the municipal health office. We encourage all patients to seek consultation because symptoms can be severe and disabling even if it’s not fatal as dengue fever,” Velazquez told the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

Chikungunya cases are more prevalent in the town’s seven out of 15 villages. These are Bato, Banlas, Binalayan, Ermita, Binongto-an, Danao, and Viga.

Cases have been recorded in these villages since April.

The local health official said the frequent rains from March to July contributed to the surge in mosquito population in the island-town.

Chikungunya is a viral disease that causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash, according to the World Health Organization.

There is no cure for the disease. Treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms. Joint pain is often debilitating and can vary in duration. Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years. (PNA)

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