Chikungunya cases reported again from Kerala

April 9th, 2008 - 2:19 pm ICT by admin  

Kozhikode, April 9 (IANS) Chikungunya, a viral disease that spreads through the bite of infected mosquitoes, has struck Kerala again. The first cases this year have been reported from Kozhikode district. The outbreak was reported Tuesday, following heavy and untimely rain. Last year, the disease had ravaged the southern and central districts of the state. Kozhikode is in Kerala’s north.

Chikungunya is characterised by severe, sometimes persistent, joint pain as well as fever and rash.

“There are six confirmed cases in Vatakara and nine in Maruthonkara,” A. Baburaj, district medical officer, told IANS.

He said the source of the outbreak was a person who had travelled to the area from Tamil Nadu.

Baburaj added that the places from where the disease was reported have a high density of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the carrier of Chickungunya virus.

“Last year Kozhikode had many Chikungunya cases. But we could contain it. Kodenchery town reported a large number of cases. By destroying the mosquitoes we stopped the disease from spreading. This time also we are working hard to destroy the mosquitoes,” he said.

The health department has mobilised committees in the affected areas to conduct a door-to-door campaign to sensitise people about the disease and destroy the breeding places of mosquitoes.

“Aedes aegypti breeds in clean and fresh water. Water collected in Cocoa leaves and coconut shells are turning into breeding places for the vector,” Baburaj said.

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