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Pakistan: Nationwide chikungunya outbreak continues

Chikungunya outbreak continues across Pakistan; as of February 4, over 8400 suspected and confirmed cases reported since end of 2016

14 Feb 12:02 AM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 2/13/2018, 12:00 AM until 2/15/2018, 11:59 PM (Asia/Karachi). COUNTRY/REGION Pakistan

Event

A chikungunya outbreak, ongoing since the end of 2016, continues to spread across Pakistan as of early 2018. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) as of February 4, some 8462 suspected and confirmed cases of chikungunya had been reported across the country since the outbreak began in late 2016.

Though the outbreak has spread nationwide, most cases have been reported in Karachi (Sindh province). The most affected areas of the city are Bin Qasim Town and Malir Town. Other areas of the country particularly affected by the outbreak include Tharparkar district (Sindh province), and Balochistan province, including Gwadar. The outbreak is likely to continue to spread in the coming weeks and months.

Context

Prior to the current outbreak, chikungunya had never been reported in Pakistan.

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, even months, after the initial recovery. No treatment or vaccine for the virus is currently available.

Advice

Individuals in Pakistan 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 (small pockets of fresh water, such as rainwater that has collected in cans, bottles, tires, flower pots, clogged gutters, etc.).

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