KARNATAKA

Officials rush to Pushpagiri

Special Correspondent

Chikungunya-like disease has been reported in village near Mysore



Eight teams formed to collect blood smears from every resident

Treatment will be provided free of cost to patients



MYSORE: The district administration has stepped up medical intervention in Pushpagiri much to the relief of the residents. A large number of people in the village have developed symptoms of a chikungunya-like disease in the past few weeks.

The authorities have constituted eight teams to collect blood smears from every resident of Pushpagiri for analysis to ascertain the nature of the disease.

Doctors, anganwadi workers and social workers have been pressed into service. Medicines have been despatched to the local Government Ayurvedic Hospital, which has become the nodal centre to combat the disease. The blood smear tests will be done here and the results made available on the spot.

Free treatment

Officials have assured that treatment will be provided free of cost to patients, and medicines will be supplied till they completely recover from the disease.

Following media reports of the widespread prevalence the disease akin to chikungunya, a high-level official team comprising Director of Health and Family Welfare M.B. Rudrappa, Additional Director P.K. Srinivas, Deputy Commissioner S. Selvakumar, District Health Officer T.K. Rangaswamy and others visited the village on Wednesday to take stock of the situation.

‘No need to panic’

“We are working on a war footing and there is no need to panic. Initially we suspected it to be malaria, dengue or chikungunya, but tests have proved negative for malaria. So, it is either dengue or chikungunya, and this will be confirmed within two days once the National Institute of Virology in Bangalore, where the blood samples have been sent for analysis, submits its report,” said Dr. Rudrappa.

He said there were reports that a few residents had visited relatives in Kerala. Hence, the possibility of them contracting the disease in that State, which has reported chikungunya cases, could not be ruled out.

The district administration has confirmed that 77 people have symptoms such joint pain, swelling of limbs and extreme fatigue accompanied by high fever with chills since June 2 when they conducted a routine surveillance. However, local residents said they had been availing themselves of treatment from private clinics for the past few weeks and the number of people who have been affected is much higher and runs into hundreds.

A report submitted by the Naganahalli Primary Health Centre, which services Pushpagiri, has said that drinking water supplied to Pushpagiri is severely contaminated and unfit for consumption.

Mr. Selvakumar said the area had only one overhead water tank. The second tank is fast nearing completion and would ease drinking water scarcity. Additional borewells would be drilled in the area to ensure the supply of fresh water. He said the Mysore City Corporation had been instructed to intervene on humanitarian grounds though the area falls outside its jurisdiction.

Border villages on alert

Dr. Rudrappa said a series of discussions had been held with district health officers, and all villages bordering Kerala had been asked to remain vigilant in view of the outbreak of chikungunya in that State.

The authorities have activated Drug Distribution Centres (DDC) in villages and replenished them with medicines. “We have DDCs for every 1,000 population unit, and the public need not panic as we are well-equipped to handle the situation,” Dr. Rudrappa said.

The people have been asked to keep their surroundings clean and prevent water stagnation.



Eight teams formed to collect blood smears from every resident

Treatment will be provided free of cost to patients





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