Africa is choking under the burden of emerging health problems. The last thing needed is having the once “remote” Chikungunya virus become associated with frequent epidemics. It means diverting the minimum health resources to control outbreaks. This is more when Africa evades allocating health services 15 percent of the national budget as was once promised by heads of state (Abuja Declaration April 2001).
However, World Health Organization having burnt its fingers in the handling of the last major Ebola epidemic in West Africa is moving fast to provide technical support and guidance to countries including Kenya, for effective management of cases and outbreaks. There is no cure and treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms.
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. The proximity of mosquito breeding sites to human habitation is a significant risk factor for chikungunya. It means that Africa still needs to improve efforts to control mosquitoes.
WHO says in a press release that the viral infection causes fever, severe joint and muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. More chilling is that the disease shares some clinical signs with dengue and zika, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where they are common.