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Chikungunya Strikes Chennai, India

Chikungunya is a disease that spreads through mosquitoes. According to the report given by the Chennai Corporation health officials there has been an increase in the number of cases of this disease //. So far about 123 people are admitted in the hospital showing symptoms of the disease. The symptoms are sudden fever, severe arthralgia (joint pain), headache, chills and rashes, almost similar to that of dengue. The disease is by far concentrated in North Chennai, especially in Tondiarpet, Basin Bridge and Pulianthope zones. Hence to combat the disease the civic agency plans to launch early morning fogging operations in vulnerable areas such as slums.

The city is divided in to 10 zones and each is assigned to a rapid action team. Each team consists of an entomologist, a sanitary inspector and health workers. The team sprays a mixture of pyrethrum insecticide and diesel fuel from 5 a.m. to 8 a.m. About 18 fogging machines have been deployed for this purpose alone. The disease spreads mainly by Aedes aegypti species which caries the alpha virus and breeds in fresh water. The treatment includes medicines, intake of large amounts of fluids and adequate rest. The disease is thought to have spread from the Andhra Pradesh border. Blood samples were collected from 22 persons who were suspected to suffer from this disease and were sent to the National Institute of Virology in Pune. Out of which four samples tested positive for the virus.


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