Authorities in Zanzibar are struggling to control the spread of the’’ Chikungunya’’, a serious infections caused by mosquito – related virus said to have hit the Isles earlier this year.
Zanzibar’s Minister for Health and social welfare Hamad Rashid Mohammed told this paper that a looming outbreak was first reported in Zanzibar’s Stone Town and the Isles and the government reacted by spraying medicine in the area in efforts to contain the virus.
The infection, according to the minister, is transmitted by the bite of infected mosquitoes of Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus species.
Athough Chikungunya does not often result in death, it can trigger chronic joint pains that may last for months or years, experts say
Among the most common signs and symptoms of Chikungunya are flu-chills, fevers, headaches and aching joints particularly in the hands,wrists, ankles and feet, nausea, fatique, and skin rashes.’’we have tried to contain the virus by spraying, but it appears to have resurfaced this time around due to the ongoing rains’’said the Minister.
According to the minister, appropriate medication for curing the disease has already been supplied by the Isles government to various health centres across Zanzibar.
The health minister further said the problem is that most of the patients prefer to seek treatment at the Mnazi Mmoja referral hospital alone hence causing unnecessary queues and other medical centres remain with no patients.
‘’ Although we don’t have exactly number of people affected by the Chikungunya virus, the referral hospital of Mnazi Mmoja receives about 50 new cases per day.’’ Mr.Rashid detailed.
He said his ministry and other Isles government entities are grappling to address this particular problem of too many Chikungunya patients visiting the one hospital.
The disease is caused by the Aedes mosquito,which is also responsible for other diseases such as yellow fever, dengue fever,Zika fever and Mayaro.
Experts say that Chikungunya is mostly not fatal but its pain can be highly traumatizing. It causes fever and very severe joint that can last for many years.
The pain is debilitating and can make it difficult even to walk properly for many patients. Many symptoms of Chikungunya are similar to dengue and Zika. As a result of this, it can be easily misdiagnosed in areas where both these diseases are common.
The mosquito itself is recognizable by white markings of its legs and marking in the form of a lyre on the upper surface of its thorax.