Afshan Yasmeen

A large number of suspected cases reported from several areas

The viral disease is spread by the ‘Aedes aegypti’ mosquito

Chikungunya is not contagious or fatal

Bangalore: Even as reports of the spread of “chikungunya” in the coastal areas are coming in, a high incidence of the viral disease has been reported from Srirampuram, Laxminarayanpuram, Bhashyamnagar, Sevashram, Okalipuram, Nagappa Block and surrounding areas of Gandhinagar and Malleswaram in the city.

More than a hundred suspected cases have been reported from these areas in the last one month. Though only one case has been confirmed so far, the people are greatly worried.

Dr. Vishwa Aradhya, Superintendent of K.C. General Hospital, who admitted that the hospital had received sporadic cases of the viral disease, said it was a mild form of viral infection and needed no admission.

The viral disease was spread by the “Aedes aegypti” mosquito, which was also responsible for the spread of dengue. However, chikungunya was not contagious or fatal and could be cured fast with mild antibiotics, he said.

As many as 17 members of three families in Srirampuram (all staying in a single building) have been affected by the disease.

These include four children. Gayatri S. (29), her mother Raniamma (55), and father K Nagaraj (65) said they were unable to walk as they have severe joint pain.

“One of my neighbours visited her relative in Mangalore and returned recently with high fever. Then, the fever spread to all of us in the building. The doctor at a nearby clinic at L. N. Puram treated us for viral fever. Now, our joints are swollen, and the doctor told us it was a symptom of chikungunya,” Ms. Gayatri told The Hindu on Saturday.

Following intermittent rains and water stagnation, mosquito breeding in the city is on the rise. This despite claims by Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) officials that they were regularly taking up mosquito-control measures.

BBMP Chief Health officer L.T. Gayatri Devi said the National Institute of Virology (NIV) in Victoria Hospital had confirmed one case. “We have sent more than 40 samples to the city’s Public Health Institute and reports are awaited,” she said. With a majority of the suspected cases of chikungunya being reported from Srirampuram and surrounding areas, BBMP personnel have taken up intensive cleaning measures in these areas, she said.

Dr. Gangalakshmi, Superintendent of BBMP’s Srirampuram Referral Hospital, said that close to 90 people had visited the hospital in the last few days with complaints of high fever and severe joint pain.

“As we cannot confirm that it is chikungunya until we get the test reports, we have started symptomatic treatment and are treating all of them as outpatients,” she added.