KERALA

Chikungunya incidence confirmed



Staff Reporter

Two blood samples test positive, but outbreak has been contained in Vizhinjam

Vector-control activities in full swing in coastal areasStatewide alert declared against disease

Thiruvananthapuram: Health Department officials confirmed on Friday the incidence of chikungunya viral fever on the Vizhinjam coast.

Two blood samples out of the 11 collected from the area and sent to the National Institute of Communicable Diseases, Pune, for serological diagnosis have tested positive for the disease.

The samples were despatched on July 28.

The patients whose blood samples tested positive - Fousia and Vimalamma of Kadakkulam Colony - have since recovered from the illness.

The outbreak at Vizhinjam was almost contained. Only 11 cases of fever were reported from the area and another 10 from Mukkola, the health officials said here.

The titre value of antibodies for both dengue and chikungunya could be the same in serological analysis.

Hence, even though only a few cases tested positive for chikungunya, the actual number could be much more, a senior official said.

Vector control activities were on full swing in coastal areas, after a district entomology team found that most houses in the locality were the breeding grounds for the Aedes Agypti species of mosquito which spread both chikungunya and dengue fever.

Health workers and representatives of voluntary organisations and the Kudumbasree network were visiting all houses to educate people on source reduction.

Meanwhile, a senior health official said that except at Vizhinjam, no fever outbreaks was reported from any part of the State. However, the department had declared a state of alert.

All District Medical Officers (DMOs) were asked to closely monitor all fever cases reported in their areas.

They were supplied with all information on and preventive measures to be adopted against chikungunya.

Additional Plan funds and non-plan funds were already provided to all DMOs for disease management.

Treatment regimen

Additional Director of Health Services (Public Health) M.K. Jeevan said the department was planning to organise a medical camp at Vizhinjam soon, exclusively for patients with refractive arthralgia (severe joint pain), one of the symptoms of chikungunya that could persist for over two months even after the fever subsided.

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