Fri | Dec 2, 2016

Ferguson: Chik-V patients may need physiotherapy

Published:Friday | December 12, 2014 | 12:00 AM
An Aedes aegypti mosquito which transmits the chikungunya virus is shown on human skin.

Tamara Bailey, Gleaner Writer

MANDEVILLE, Manchester:HEALTH MINISTER Dr Fenton Ferguson has said some persons who have been infected with the chikungunya virus may need physiotherapy.

"We have to be careful how we manage chik-V. When it started out, we said to you that, in the first instance, you should be using paracetamol or Panadol ... . What we are now saying to you in the period of relapse is that, it may even require physiotherapy and going for the stronger anti-inflammatory medication, with the guidance of your physician," Ferguson said on Wednesday during a chik-V/Ebola town-hall meeting put on by the Manchester Health Department.

While the number of cases of chikungunya has declined, it is still a cause for concern in some parishes. Chikungunya is spread by the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The disease is characterised by fever, disabling joint pains, muscle aches, nausea, headache, weakness, and a rash. It may be confused with dengue fever. The symptoms develop between two and 10 days (mostly four to eight days) after contracting the virus. Most people recover from the condition in a few days to weeks but, unfortunately, some persons continue to have the joint pains for months to years.

More ready than US

Meanwhile, Ferguson said Jamaica is now more ready than before to deal with any possible outbreak of the Ebola virus which has killed thousands in West Africa.

"Where we are now, we are far more prepared for Ebola, than the United States (US) was a couple months ago ... we have been training persons in terms of the gear that they have to use and preparing hospitals that will have isolation areas," Ferguson added.

According to Ferguson, there will be two treatment areas in the country; one at Cornwall Regional Hospital and the other at the National Chest Hospital. Approximately five ambulances will be designated for the transportation of victims and border control and health communication strategies will be intensified.

He said expedience will be of utmost importance once someone has appeared with signs and symptoms of the deadly virus.

rural@gleanerjm.com