Shastry V Mallady

Government releases an additional sum of Rs.1.8 lakh; medicines being rushed to all the 42 PHCs

MADURAI: The Health Department is on alert in Madurai district in the wake of suspected cases of chikungunya in at least two blocks with the latest being Peraiyur where five people are found to have symptoms of the mosquito-borne disease.

Even as blood samples of 11 patients have been sent to the Institute of Virology at Pune for investigation, the authorities on Tuesday procured additional medicines for tackling chikungunya. These are being rushed to all the 42 Primary Health Centres in the district.

Deputy Director of Health Services S. Shanmugasundaram told The Hindu that a district-level control room and rapid response team had been set up in the Health Department office at Viswanathapuram in Madurai and intense village surveillance was taken up in affected areas.

The Government had released an additional sum of Rs.1.8 lakh to procure preventive medicines that are given for joint pain/fever, two common symptoms among patients. Teams were on constant vigil at Peraiyur and Uthappanaickanur in Usilampatti taluk where 11 persons had so far complained of fever and related pain.

While the results of laboratory tests are awaited, the District Malaria Officer is closely monitoring the villages and authorities have directed the PHC staff to be on preparedness to give immediate treatment. The patients were feeling uncomfortable for the past 10 days and the department had been treating them since then.

"We are taking adult mosquito control measures and in some villages fogging is carried out. People should take precautions regarding drinking water," he said adding that vector control steps were necessary to prevent the outbreak of chikungunya.

A team of senior officials from Chennai had visited the villages to take stock of the situation.

The district officials have submitted a report to the Collector T. Udhayachandran and are in touch with the Directorate of Public Health. Meanwhile, the public are asked to be cautious with mosquito breeding spots.

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