The Ministry of Health has urged Mombasa residents with chikungunya to stop overeating paw paw leaves in the belief it will cure the disease. In fact, it could be harmful to the kidneys.
Instead, residents have been told to seek medical attention. Thirty-two cases of chikungunya have been confirmed in the county. Four hundred and thirty five cases are yet to be confirmed.
No deaths have been reported. The disease has affected all the six subcounties in Mombasa with Mvita having the highest number of cases reported at 140. The other subcounties include Changamwe, 65, Jomvu, 43, Likoni, 104, Kisauni, 63 and Nyali 20.
During a health symposium on Friday, Prof Rodney Adam, a disease specialist at the Department of Pathology at the Aga Khan University, said the disease rarely causes death but has negative effects.
“The main problem is that the illness lasts for days or even weeks, and some people have joint swelling for months or even more than a year,” he said.
The county government said it will meet regularly to review the situation. Fogging and indoor residual spraying is being conducted to contain the disease.
What is chikungunya?
According to WHO, chikungunya is a mosquito-borne viral disease first described during an outbreak in southern Tanzania in 1952.
It is a virus that belongs to the alphavirus genus. The name chikungunya derives from a word in the kimakonde language, meaning “to become contorted”, and describes the stooped appearance of sufferers with joint pain.
Chikungunya is characterized by an abrupt onset of fever frequently accompanied by joint pain. Other common signs and symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash. The joint pain is often debilitating, but usually lasts a few days or may be prolonged to weeks. The virus can cause acute.
- Thank you for participating in discussions on The Star, Kenya website. You are welcome to comment and debate issues, however take note that:
- Comments that are abusive; defamatory; obscene; promote or incite violence, terrorism, illegal acts, hate speech, or hatred on the grounds of race, ethnicity, cultural identity, religious belief, disability, gender, identity or sexual orientation, or are otherwise objectionable in the Star’s reasonable discretion shall not be tolerated and will be deleted.
- Comments that contain unwarranted personal abuse will be deleted.
- Strong personal criticism is acceptable if justified by facts and arguments.
- Deviation from points of discussion may lead to deletion of comments.
- Failure to adhere to this policy and guidelines may lead to blocking of offending users. Our moderator’s decision to block offending users is final.