Serena Josephine. M

PUDUCHERRY: The Puducherry region has been recording a steady increase in the number of fever cases in the last few months. So far, there have been two confirmed cases of chikungunya from Thethampalayam village in Mannadipet commune and many cases of fever with joint ache.

The Health Department had undertaken a comparison of the number of fever cases from all primary health centres over the last three years for the corresponding period – November, December and January. “Though the number of cases this year is lower than last year, the trend, when compared to previous months, is definitely high. The clinical picture of the two confirmed cases of chikungunya appears to be a milder variety of the previous chikungunya virus based on the quick recovery of the patients,” Director of Health Dilip Kumar Baliga told The Hindu.

Presently, patients presenting with symptoms have fever and joint ache for five to six days, unlike the previous cases where joint ache persisted for a month, he added.

The two confirmed cases emerged after a medical team of the department had carried out a three-day survey at Thethampalayam village following fever cases, he said. “We have sent our teams to other places in Puducherry. A detailed report will be compiled and a meeting will be held soon. The Rapid Response Team will give a detailed report soon,” he observed.

With fever cases being rampant after the rains, he attributed the cause to mosquito breeding in clean water inside houses. “Chikungunya is caused by Aedes mosquito, which breeds in clean water stored or stagnating inside houses and is a day-biter. Water stagnating in waste tyres, coconut shells, empty plastic cups and bottles and decorative plants are some of the breeding grounds for mosquitoes in houses. People should not store water for more than 24 hours to avoid mosquito breeding,” he stressed.

Water collection in refrigerators and air-conditioners should be checked. “After rains, there is water stagnation on terraces and window sills. This should be removed,” he reiterated.

Medical Superintendent of Indira Gandhi Government General Hospital and Post Graduate Institute V. Govindaraj emphasised the need for protection from mosquito bites.

“We are receiving about 50 to 100 cases of fever with a combination of symptoms including joint pain, body ache, joint swelling, itching and rashes all over the body, everyday,” he stated.

The load of such cases has been increasing in the last two months, he said.