AFRICA/CONGO- About one thousand suspected cases of chikungunya have been identified in the capital

Friday, 17 June 2011

Brazzaville (Agenzia Fides) - In the last two weeks nearly a thousand suspected cases of chikungunya have been identified in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of the Congo, a mosquito-borne viral disease which causes fever and other forms of acute pain. "Over 900 people show symptoms of chikungunya", said Dokekias, general health director at a recent conference. The symptoms include muscle aches, headache, nausea, fatigue, skin rashes, and are similar to those of dengue. There is still no cure, the treatment consists in relieving the symptoms. Dokekias said that the first cases were recorded at the beginning of June in the far suburbs of Bacongo and Makelekele, south of Brazzaville. Of the 48 samples analyzed in a laboratory in nearby Gabon, more than half result positive to the virus. The main urgent need in the country now is to inform people about the symptoms of the disease, in order to immediately get to the nearest medical center, and to appeal to the whole population so that it takes action to keep clean any possible habitats where mosquitoes can develop. "Chikungunya" is named after a term in Kimakonde language meaning "twist," in reference to the curve appearance that the people infected assume. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 17/06/2011)