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As rainy season returns to Yucatán, so does chikungunya

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Authorities spray for mosquitoes in Peto’s residential properties. Photo: Diario de Yucatán

In 2017, the dreaded chikungunya virus appeared gone in Yucatán. Now, just as rainy season begins, two cases have been reported in Peto.

Recent rains have triggered a proliferation of mosquitoes, and with it, increased risk of dengue, zika or chikungunya, reports Diario de Yucatán.

The two adult women who reportedly contracted chikungunya went to private doctors after showing the symptoms of that disease, such as fever and joint pain.

Both are under medical treatment.

The state health commissioner, Romualdo Canché Chi, denied knowledge of the cases and recommended that any person that has such symptoms seek medical attention at Centro de Salud, even if also visiting a private doctor.

In 2017, there were no cases of chikungunya in Yucatán, but the state saw 111 dengue cases along with 15 people with zika.

Brigades have continued spraying for mosquitos and, in the next few days, will organize a collection of discarded refuse that could collect rainwater and become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Mosquitoes appear to disappear in dry season, but reappear immediately once the rains come.

Heavy rain is expected Tuesday and Wednesday throughout the state. After a pause on Thursday, there is a chance of rain every day through next Tuesday.

The chikungunya virus emerged in the Americas in 2013. Common symptoms of chikungunya infection include headache, muscle pain, joint swelling and rash.

Zika followed in 2016, causing little alarm until that virus was linked to birth defects.

Vaccines are not yet available for chikungunya or zika, and efforts to roll out a dengue vaccine are complicated by the fact that the virus comes in different serotypes.

With information from Diario de Yucatán and Science Daily

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