C.Jakarta Reports Rare Tropical Virus

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Central Jakarta may be a new hot spot for the tropical disease chikungunya after 30 residents reported suffering the dengue-like illness in May, a health agency official said Tuesday.

The resident, from Johar Baru subdistrict, have already recovered from the disease, the head of the agency’s infectious diseases prevention unit, Endang ER, was quoted as saying by Antara news agency.

“This is the first case to hit residents in Johar Baru. There was no such disease (in the area) last year,” she said.

Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne disease with symptoms including high fever and severe joint pain.

Endang said the residents initially complained of fever.

“But after running some tests, we found residents in neighborhood unit RW 5 (has tested) positive for chikungunya,” she said.

Endang said she suspected the outbreak was caused by the uncontrolled growth of mosquito larvae in the densely populated area. She said the growth had occurred despite reguler fumigation to fight dengue fever.

First recognized in its epidemic form in East Africa in 1952, chikungunya has continued to cause major epidemic in Africa, India and Southeast Asia.

Also known as epidemic polyarthritis and rash, or buggy creek virus, the first case reported in Indonesia was in Samarinda, East Kalimantan, in 1973.

Cases of chikungunya were reported in Yogyakarta in 1983, however the diesease seemingly disappeared from the country for almost 20 years until it resurfaced in 2001, with outbreaks reported in Muara Enim in South Sumatra, as well as Aceh and Bogor.

In 2002, cases were reported in Bekasi in West Java, and Purworejo and Klaten in Central Java.

Cikungunya is caused by a self-limiting febrile virus that is transmitted through the bite of the Aedes aegypti and Aedes Africanus mosquitoes.

The illness usually lasts for three to 10 days, though the join pain can remain a problem for week to several months after the initial phase. While painful, chikungunya rarely result in death.

Since there are currently no medications available to fight the virus, prevention of the disease focuses on controlling mosquito population and avoiding mosquito bites.

sumber : Jakarta Post

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