Published On: Fri, Jun 27th, 2014

First case of Chikungunya virus detected in Mexico

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Chikungunya is an illness caused by a virus that spreads through mosquito bites. Symptoms of chikungunya include fever, headache, tiredness, nausea, vomiting, rash, and muscle or joint pain.  Symptoms usually last for a few days to a few weeks, but some people may feel tired for several weeks.

Chikungunya fever typically lasts from five to seven days and frequently causes severe and often incapacitating joint pain which sometimes persists for much longer periods. It is rarely life-threatening. There is no specific treatment for the disease but analgesics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication may be used to reduce the pain and swelling. Aspirin should be avoided.


First case of Chikungunya detected in México

The Health Secretariat of the State of Jalisco has confirmed the first Mexican case of a person infected with the chikungunya virus, on June 20, Health authorities diagnosed a woman in Guadalajara after she presented with chikungunya symptoms such as fever and joint pain, which are very similar to those of dengue fever.

Tests confirmed that she contracted the virus, apparently when she traveled to a sports competition last May in the island of Antigua and Barbuda, a Caribbean country that has seen cases of this rarely fatal disease.

The woman is under medical observation and in stable condition, the federal Health Secretariat reported on Thursday June 26th.

What are authorities doing in Yucatán?

The Yucatan State Secretary of Health, Jorge Mendoza, admitted that the first case of Chikungunya virus in Mexico has been recently recorded in the state of Jalisco, Western Mexico.

Mendoza declares that State and Federal authorities are prepared for this new viral threat. Are they really?

Months ago, the virus of African origin had been detected in the Virgin Islands. Now, the Central American country of El Salvador is on the brink of an epidemic. The Chikungunya virus landed in the Caribbean transmitted by vectors such as the Aedes Egipty mosquito.

The disease has already been detected in Cuba, so it’s only a matter of time before it appears in Yucatán, and cases not detected by the authorities might come up anytime now.

The virus causes body aches and fever. The best way to combat it is to prevent mosquito breeding at home and prevent them from entering our homes.

A bulletin issued by the Panamerican Health Organization says that  in the last 10 years, 183,781 suspicious cases had been registered in 18 different countries of Central America and the Caribbean. 22 deaths were reported during this period of time. 

Who is at risk?

People who live in Asian, African, Central American or Caribbean countries are at risk of getting chikungunya.  The mosquito that carries chikunguya can bite during the day and night, both indoors and outdoors, and often lives around buildings in urban areas.

Since 2004, millions of cases have occurred in countries near the Indian Ocean. From 2004 to 2009, 105 cases of chikungunya fever were reported in travelers returning to the United States.

What can you do to prevent Chikungunya?

There is currently no vaccine or medicine to prevent Chikungunya. You can protect yourself by preventing mosquito bites.

Prevent mosquito bites:

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent as directed.
  • Higher percentages of active ingredient provide longer protection.

If you are bitten by mosquitoes:

  • Avoid scratching mosquito bites.
  • Apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce itching.

If you feel sick and think you may have Chikungunya:

  • Talk to your doctor or nurse if you feel seriously ill, especially if you have a fever.
  • Get lots of rest, and drink plenty of liquids.
  • Avoid spreading the disease by preventing more mosquito bites.


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