What you need to know about Chikungunya outbreak in Mombasa


Mombasa, KENYA: Mombasa county has been hit by a Chikungunya outbreak; a viral infection that is spread by mosquitoes.

So far the county government has confirmed 32 cases of Chikungunya fever out of 120 suspected cases.

On Saturday, Mombasa County Government spokesman Richard Chacha said tests returned 32 positive results.

Speaking to Baraka FM on Monday, Dr. Julius Musyimi who operates a clinic in the county said they had received a huge number of patients who often complain of headache, muscle pain, joint swelling or rash and back pains.

“Towards the end of the year was the highest record as we received more than 10 patients in a week, but as of now the number is reducing.” Said Dr. Julius.

He advised patients to seek medical advice when they suspect one is infected by the virus, instead of self-medication.

“The symptoms of Chikungunya are similar to those of Dengue, Malaria and Zika, and so it is good if one comes to the hospital so that they are tested.” He advised.

There is no vaccine to prevent or medicine to treat Chikungunya virus and therefore doctors treat the symptoms. Patients are also advised to get plenty of rest and drink fluids to prevent dehydration.

According to Dr. Julius, the fever is a self-limiting viral infection; in that, it resolves spontaneously with or without specific treatment and within 10 days the person becomes fully recovered.

“The first 2-3 days when the symptoms appear are when the patient feels extremely bad, there are very rare fatal cases.” Said Dr. Julius.

Meanwhile, the county government has urged residents to use mosquito nets, clear stagnant water and bushes around their compound among other measures to stop mosquito breeding.

This is the first time there is laboratory test confirmation of Chikungunya in Mombasa, several weeks after doctors in the county began noticing a trend of patients exhibiting symptoms of joint pains and fever.

The last Chikungunya outbreak in Kenya occurred in Mandera in mid-2016.