Suspected Chikungunya patients speak of high fevers, severe pain

People have been flocking to the Georgetown Public Hospital and the Woodlands Hospital seeking relief after experiencing symptoms of the mosquito-borne virus Chikungunya.

Two patients at the Woodlands Hospital yesterday told Stabroek News that they contracted the virus two weeks ago and were still being treated.

A male patient said he started experiencing severe pains in his feet and knees on August 1st and was later hit by a scorching fever. The 57-year-old Ogle, East Coast Demerara resident, who asked not to be named, stated that he visited the Woodlands Hospital a few days after and was told that he had to take dengue and typhoid tests. He stated that he was then injected for the pain but the next day boils broke out on his neck, chin and hands.

“The doctors gave me a cream and Panadols for the fever and pain and they told me that I have symptoms of the Chikungunya,” he said.

Another patient said she was hospitalised for one day because of the severe fever and pain. “It happened like one week ago. My head started to hurt and the fever was so hot I started talking craziness,” the 16-year-old girl said.

She stated that the doctors instructed her to be tested because she was exhibiting symptoms of Chikungunya, and they quickly prescribed medication to combat the symptoms.

A hospital source also told Stabroek News that scores of people were visiting the Georgetown Public Hospital outpatient department to be tested because they were fearful that they may have contracted the virus. The source stated that most of the patients seen by doctors on a daily basis displayed symptoms of the virus and added that once he treated a patient who showed clear medical signs of contracting Chikungunya.

When Stabroek News contacted the office of the Director of the Vector Control Services Dr Reyaud Rahman about the situation, it was told that he was unavailable for a comment.

Earlier this week, Stabroek News received information that the Industry Health Centre on the East Coast of Demerara had referred over 100 suspected Chikungunya cases to the Georgetown Public Hospital after residents from four villages showed signs of the virus.

A reliable source at the clinic stated that over 100 persons visited the centre with clinical signs of the virus and were referred to the city hospital for treatment and blood testing. The source further stated that they saw patients from Liliendaal, Industry, Ogle and Cummings Lodge who complained of severe joint pains and high fever—all symptoms of the virus. “We have had a lot of patients with muscle pains, joint pains, severe fever and headaches,” the source said, while describing the situation as an outbreak.

Some symptoms of Chikungunya are sudden high fever, joint pains, muscle pains, skin rashes and headaches. The mosquito responsible for spreading the virus is identified by white markings on the legs and a pattern of a lyre on the thorax. It is usually seen throughout the day and night even though it bites mostly at dusk and dawn.

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