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Sep 18, 2008 at 10:08pm IST

Chikungunya hits K'taka, Kerala

New Delhi: Apart from Bihar where there are fears of an outbreak of disease as the flood waters recede, more cases of Chikungunya are reported in the states of Karnataka and Kerala with the recent outbreak in the Dakshin Kannada and Kasaragode areas.

More than 70,000 cases of Chikungunya have been recorded across the country this year which is almost 100 per cent more than the number of cases recorded last year.

However, government officials say it is not up to them to control the situation.

Director, National Institute of Vector Borne Diseases Dr Dhillon says, “It's not up to the health ministry or the state health department. We can't go and clean people's coolers and over-head tanks.”

Chikungunya is spread by the the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The same vector that spreads dengue. The common symptoms of the viral disease are high fever lasting around 7-12 days, painful joints, headache, vomiting, nausea and fatigue.

Doctors say that Chikungunya can leave a long-lasting effects such as joint pains, very much like like arthritis in some cases.

There are no vaccines for the disease and it is treated with painkillers and fluids.

The only way to combat Chikungunya is the same as fighting dengue which is by controlling the growth of the aedes mosquito.

The vector has already caused an outbreak of dengue in the NCR region. It could just be a matter of time before Chikungunya hits the national Capital.

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