Via BBC Brasil: Dolorosa e duradoura, 'chikungunya vai ser surpresa maior que zika’, diz pesquisador.[Painful and lasting, 'Chikungunya will be a bigger surprise than Zika," researcher says] Edited excerpt from the Google translation:
Researcher Carlos Brito, the first to hypothesize a relationship between Zika and microcephaly in Pernambuco, remains concerned.
Despite the arrival of winter, when Aedes aegypti mosquito attacks diminish, he predicts that mosquito-borne diseases will continue to be the main source of problems for the government of interim President Michel Temer.
And the biggest impact may come from where you least expect.
According to Brito, a scientist at UFPE (Federal University of Pernambuco) and member of the Arboviruses Technical Committee of the Ministry of Health, where he works as a consultant, the spread of chikungunya fever in the Northeast has left a trail of adults and seniors with severe chronic pain that overloads health services, already unable to meet normal demand.
"The big challenge for the government will be these great epidemics. We do not know the size of what will happen to the Zika epidemic in other regions of the country," said the BBC Brazil.
"But chikungunya will bring more surprises than the actual Zika and dengue. As a researcher, I have been impressed with its effects."
While dengue is able to infect approximately 5 to 10% of a population, the so-called "attack rate" of chikungunya can reach 50%, Brito says. Zika's attack rate is still unknown, but it should be between the two, he estimates.
According to the latest data from the Ministry of Health, there are more than 64,000 reported cases of chikungunya as of April 23, 2016, against 38,000 in 2015. More than 11,000 cases have been confirmed across the country.
Brito, however, says he believes the numbers are much higher.
"Pernambuco, for example, is saying that the greatest number of cases this year is dengue, but we see very little dengue in practice. The highest number is chikungunya, and there is an impressive underreporting for a number of reasons, including lack of preparation of professionals to make notifications correctly," he says.
"With three viruses circulating in the country, the epidemiological surveillance model cannot describe the real situation of the epidemic."