Welcome to the South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM) website.

The SASTM’s Mission is to guide the profession in all aspects relating to the practice of travel medicine, liaise with the travel industry, consult with relevant authorities, advise the public and collaborate nationally and internationally on all aspects relating to Travel Medicine. Click here to learn more.

SASTM Newsflash - Chikungunya: Philippines


Group Email


SASTM Newsflash




Health authorities in South Cotabato province have declared an outbreak of the mosquito-borne chikungunya disease in 2 villages in Tampakan town, as the suspected cases in the area have already reached 180 as of Tuesday [2 Jul 2013].


Dr. Rogelio Aturdido, South Cotabato health officer, said the confirmatory tests are currently ongoing for residents of Maltana and Kipalbig towns in Tampakan, who have shown some symptoms of the viral disease based on the epidemiological surveys conducted by local health and sanitation personnel. "We have not yet contained the disease, and, so far, more suspected cases are being reported," he said in a radio interview.


The South Cotabato Integrated Provincial Health Office (IPHO) reported the detection of 2 chikungunya cases in Barangay Kipalbig in Tampakan 2 weeks ago based on the results of confirmatory tests conducted by the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Muntinlupa City.


Aturdido said the 2 chikungunya cases, which were detected for the 1st time in the province, were found in 2 of the 4 blood samples that they sent to the RITM. He said the samples were taken from residents of Barangay Kipalbig who had exhibited some symptoms of the disease.


Chikungunya is a viral disease that is spread by mosquitoes that cause severe fever and joint pains. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache and nausea. Victims could suffer from polyarthralgia or multiple joint pains for 5-6 months and as long as 2 years, depending on their age.


"The [epidemiological] manifestation is the same with dengue disease because the vector is the same mosquito that causes dengue," said Aturdido, referring to the virus-carrying _Aedes_ mosquito.


Cecil Lorenzo, South Cotabato disease surveillance officer, said they initially received the report about the possible chikungunya outbreak in Tampakan town in the 1st week of June 2013. She said that their initial assessment showed that the chikungunya-carrying mosquitoes could have been thriving in the area's banana plantations, where the patients are employed. The IPHO and the Tampakan Municipal Health Office are presently monitoring the areas that were affected by the disease.


Local sanitation workers have been conducting site inspections as well as information and education campaigns among local residents regarding chikungunya, especially on how to contain or control the spread of the disease.


Dr. Washington Loreno, Tampakan health officer, said they are working closely with the barangay councils of the affected villages to manage the disease incidence in the area. He said they have been conducting regular cleanup activities in various communities in Tampakan to control the further spread of the chikungunya-carrying mosquitoes.


Communicated by: ProMED-mail


This outbreak has grown considerably, with the number of cases increasing from 2 cases that occurred on 26 Jun 2013 to 180 suspected cases today [2 Jul 2013]. There is no commercially available vaccine to prevent chikungunya virus infections, so the only effective measure to prevent transmission of the virus is through control of mosquito vectors. One hopes that the cleanup activities are successful in doing so.




South African Society of Travel Medicine (SASTM)

Phone: +27 (011) 025 3297
Fax: +27 087 9411350 / 1
E-mail: admin@sastm.org.za
Website: www.sastm.org.za
Postal address: SASTM, PO Box 8216, Greenstone, 1616, South Africa
Physical address: SASTM, 27 Linksfield Road Block 2 a Dunvegan Edenvale
Registered as a Nonprofit Organisation 063-296-NPO


The content and opinions are neither pre-screened nor endorsed by the SASTM. The content should neither be interpreted nor quoted as inherently accurate or authoritative.

The information provided in SASTM Newsflashes is collected from various news sources, health agencies and government agencies. Although the information is believed to be accurate, any express or implied warranty as to its suitability for any purpose is categorically disclaimed. In particular, this information should not be construed to serve as medical advice for any individual. The health information provided is general in nature, and may not be appropriate for all persons. Medical advice may vary because of individual differences in such factors as health risks, current medical conditions and treatment, allergies, pregnancy and breast feeding, etc. In addition, global health risks are constantly evolving and changing. International travelers should consult a qualified physician for medical advice prior to departure.

Scroll to Top