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State of Quintana Roo low risk for chikungunya

Playa del Carmen, Q.R. – A new report from the state health department says that Quintana Roo is at low risk for people contracting chikungunya.

There have been a total of seven recorded cases of chikungunya in the state so far this year.

Local health officials say that while they are not ruling out more recorded cases of chikungunya before the end of year, the risk for contracting the virus is low.

Juan Ortegón Pacheco, State Secretary of Health says, “It’s a virus that we knew was going to come sooner or later. Since last year, we’ve been anticipating its arrival and made the appropriate actions to deal with it once it did arrive. Even with that, we still need the community to help us combat the virus.”

Ortegón Pacheco says that the chikungunya virus is transmitted the same way as dengue – through infected mosquitoes. He says that everything possible is being done as municipal officials continue to meet with mayors to organize fogging (spraying). Yet, the system is most effective with help from citizens.

“We will apply the spray to eliminate breeding, but the most important aspect is the social participation – residents making sure to clean their yards and roofs. This is a shared responsibility because no army and no amount of money will help if there’s no public participation,” he reiterated.

In Playa del Carmen there has been one recorded case of chikungunya. The infected person arrived from another state. So far this year, 18 states in Mexico have reported cases of the chikungunya virus. According to the Federal Ministry of Health, mortality rates for those infected with dengue are lower than those who become infected with chikungunya. The chikungunya virus can also create prolonged health problems.

The symptoms for chikungunya are similar to that of dengue fever, in that once infected people experience headaches, joint pain and high fever.

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