The National, Tuesday 30th April 2013
By ELIZABETH MIAE
THE St John Hospital at Gerehu in the National Capital District has reported an outbreak of viral infections since the beginning of this month.
Officer-in-charge Sr Rachael Kurup told The National yesterday that most of the patients including children were showing symptoms of high fever, joint inflammation, swollen joints, running nose and coughing.
She said patients with high fever and swollen joints with inflammation could be suffering from Chikungunya, a viral illness caused by an arbovirus spread by the Aedes mosquito.
Kurup said patients with those symptoms should take Panadol every six hours, bed rest and cool sponging to bring down their body temperature.
“For the children, we keep them in the ward to monitor their body temperature
until it cools down or goes back to normal.
With adults we put them on antibiotics just in case they suffer from other complications,” she said.
“Since the outbreak we have seen 200 to 300 cases for viral infections.”
Kurup said some patients who had symptoms of high fever and cold or flu were tested for malaria according to the assessment made by the staff at the adult and children’s outpatients.
Laboratory assistant Marina Lamong said 206 tests conducted this month alone for malaria were all negative.
The tests done using the rapid diagnostic test kits were from blood samples collected from patients suspected of having malaria.
Kurup has advised people with Chikungunya-like symptoms (fever and joint pain) to heed advice and as much as possible sleep under a treated mosquito net to prevent the spread of the infection.