In Cairns, two cases of the mosquito-borne disease chikungunya have been confirmed. Queensland Health is on 26 April 2013 issuing a warning for people to take precautions against the virus, which is similar to dengue fever in terms of symptoms and mode of transmission.
Tests the week of 22 April 2013 revealed that two people who recently returned from Papua New Guinea had contracted chikungunya virus infection, which includes symptoms such as fever, prolonged joint and muscle pain, headaches, rash and fatigue. Tropical Public Health Services staff have been spraying for mosquitoes in the neighborhoods where the two patients live.
The Cairns Post revealed that during the week of 15 April 2013, entomologists from Queensland Health and James Cook University were monitoring chikungunya following an outbreak in Papua New Guinea, where more than 3,000 people have been infected. The disease is carried by two mosquito species, Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti. Both also can transmit dengue fever virus, which has infected more than 110 people in Cairns, Innisfail, and Port Douglas since November 2012.
Aside from the dangers of dengue fever, during changing season such as this one, the citizens were asked to be vigilant with other diseases such as chikungunya virus infection, because in East Jakarta, based on the local Health Sub Department, there are 165 citizens who suffered from that disease.
Those 165 chikungunya sufferers consist of 10 citizens in Palmeriam Urban Village, 22 citizens in Cakungbarat, 15 citizens in Jatinegara, 20 citizens in Pondokkelapa, 11 citizens in Rawaterate, 16 citizens in Pondokbambu, 6 citizens in Cipinangmelayu, 16 citizens in Halim Perdanakusumah, 25 citizens in Makasar, and 24 citizens in Pondokkopi. “From this number, there are no dead people,” said Safarudin, Head of East Jakarta Health Sub Department, on 7 May 2013.
Probably, such data will change by the end of 2013. However, citizens are urged to remain calm and need not worry, because chikungunya disease is not more dangerous than dengue fever.
He said the number of chikungunya sufferers in East Jakarta is relatively high, caused by low citizen awareness to maintain hygiene and a healthy lifestyle. “With anti-mosquito campaigns and “Hygiene and Health Lifestyle Behavior” these are the best solutions to handle dengue fever and chikungunya,” he said.
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Japan remains in the grip of rubella infections (German measles) with the disease spreading rapidly, and the National Institute of Infectious Diseases reports that 5,442 people were diagnosed with rubella during January-April 2013.
The infections are 34 times more than that of the same period in 2012, the Institute said, adding that the number of new infections had been rising by more than 500 per week since the beginning of April 2013.
Nearly 90% of the patients are aged 20 or above, most of them men in their 20s to 40s or women in their 20s.
Health authorities are calling for caution, as babies born to women who contract the disease during early pregnancy may develop severe eye, ear, or heart problems. Adults are urged to get vaccinated, as the disease is likely to peak around June, reported on 8 May 2013.
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