Chadian medical authorities have reportedly declared a Chikungunya virus epidemic as of Tuesday, September 1, following reported cases of the virus in the Abéché district in Ouaddai province. The first cases were reported on August 14, but as many as 8000 cases have been confirmed to date.
Further spread of the disease is likely in the near term.
Chikungunya is a mosquito-borne disease. Symptoms include high fever, joint and muscle pain, rash, headache, nausea, and fatigue. The virus is rarely fatal but lingering joint pain can last for several weeks or months after the initial recovery. No treatment or vaccine for the virus is currently available.
Those in the region are advised to take measures to protect themselves from mosquito bites (e.g. wearing covering clothing, using insect repellent, sleeping in a screened-in or air-conditioned room) and to eliminate possible mosquito breeding grounds (e.g. small pools of fresh water, such as rainwater that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, flowerpots, clogged gutters, etc.).
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