Ethiopian health officials report an additional 5,500 cases of chikungunya in Dire Dawa City administration in the week ending of September 15, 2019, bringing the total outbreak to 40, 340 since late July of the same year.
Cases have been reported from all kebeles, or neighborhoods in the Dire Dawa city administration, which has a population of 335,000.
The outbreak comes at a time when Ethiopia is facing numerous other health emergencies that are stretching the limited resources available, including a humanitarian crisis, malnutrition, cholera, dengue fever and measles outbreaks.
Chikungunya is a viral disease transmitted to humans by infected mosquitoes. It causes fever and severe joint pain, which is often debilitating. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, and rash.
The disease shares some clinical signs with dengue and Zika, and can be misdiagnosed in areas where they are common. As there is no cure, treatment is focused on relieving the symptoms.
This is the second chikungunya outbreak in Ethiopia, the last was in the summer of 2016.