Argentina issues chikungunya virus alert
Buenos Aires: Argentina has issued a virus alert on the emergence of chikungunya fever.
The health ministry for Buenos Aires province, the country's most populous area, issued the alert Tuesday, reported Xinhua.
The disease, which is transmitted similarly to dengue fever by mosquitoes and causes joint pains and a high fever, has been detected in neighbouring Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Peru, after outbreaks in Central America and the Caribbean.
Buenos Aires Health Minister Alejandro Collia called on the province's residents to "not be panicked" and asked for their "collaboration" in avoiding the spread of mosquitoes, especially following heavy rainfall in recent weeks.
"It is important to be alert, because the symptoms can be similar to dengue," Luis Crovetto, the provincial health official, said.
According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), as of Aug 2, there have been 26 deaths in the continent from the virus, 5,724 confirmed cases and 406,586 suspected cases.
Out of these, 251,880 suspected cases were registered in the Dominican Republic, which reported the first case of chikungunya in February.