By John Agaba
HEALTH experts have confirmed a strange viral infection, 'chikungunya', which is transmitted by mosquitoes and whose signs and symptoms are similar to those of malaria in Uganda.
Patients bitten by a mosquito carrying the virus present with severe muscle pains, high temperatures, lymph node pains and swellings and may develop a rash that starts to bleed when unattended too.
They develop red eyes and also have severe headaches and backaches and may start vomiting.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has already sounded a concern regarding the growing incidences of the viral infection, especially around the Caribbean islands in the Atlantic Ocean.
The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention have sent out a health advisory to doctors in the United States to consider chikungunya infection in patients with acute onset of fever and joint pain.
Dr. Myers Lugemwa, the head of the malaria control programme at the health ministry, confirmed cases of the chikungunya infection in Uganda, especially around River Semliki and in the West Nile region.