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Chikungunya downs 100 students in N. Cotabato

July 5, 2013 12:43pm

KIDAPAWAN CITY — At least 100 high school students of the Nuevabida National High School in the town of Mlang, North Cotabato, were diagnosed as having symptoms of chikungunya and are under observation, a local health official said.

Mlang's health officer Dr. Glecerio Sotea on Thursday said at least 53 high school students were complaining of high fever and pains in their joints when they were simultaneously examined at the school clinic.

More students were also rushed in the school clinic n Friday morning, claiming they were also having nausea accompanied fever and pains in their joints.

The Regional Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit (RESU) with their counterparts in the province of North Cotabato also examined the students at took blood samples that were brought to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) for laboratory tests.

In the mean time, Dr. Sotea advised the affected students to boost their immune system by eating healthy foods and taking vitamins as the results from the RITM is expected to come in two weeks’ time.

Reynan Sumabong, a village health committee chair, said villagers from purok 2 and 5 have been also complaining of the same symptoms the affected students had exhibited.

Sumabong also confirmed that some residents of Barangay Pag-asa were hit with suspected chikungunya virus, but these cases are yet to be confirmed by health authorities.

“We considered it epidemic since our students and even children in our community were hit with fever and other chikungunya symptoms,” Sumabong said.

Rolando Buenaflor, NNHS principal, had ordered a cleanup in the campus and removal of  plants suspected to have been breeding places for mosquitoes.

Buenaflor suspected that the lagoon at the back of the school also became a breeding area for mosquitoes that carry dengue and chikungunya viruses.

He also advised the affected students to rest and go immediately to nearest health centers and hospitals for medical attention if the symptoms worsen.

Meanwhile, in a report on GMA News Online on June 28, Department of Health-National Epidemiology Center head Dr. Enrique Tayag on his Twitter post said "(The) DOH confirms (a) chikungunya outbreak in Patnongon, Antique, in Western Visayas with 313 cases. No deaths."

"Ang mga sintomas ng chikungunya ay katulad din ng sa dengue at nakukuha rin ang virus nito sa kagat ng lamok," Tayag said, adding that chikungunya is not as deadly like dengue but it can cause complications that may lead to death. Williamor A. Magbanua /LBG, GMA News

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