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Chikungunya in the Capital

Chikungunya has re-emerged in the country after a period of 30 years and has infected many people in Maharashtra, Andhra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Recently, 3 people in Delhi// have tested positive for chikungunya fever.

Mosquitoes are the carriers who transmit chikungunya fever to human.

The National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD) tested 6 blood samples of which, 3 were found to be positive for chikungunya fever. Apollo Hospital had referred 2 of the 3 positive tested samples to NICD. Several other health centers in the city have been sent 30 samples. The results of the tests are being awaited.

'Three of the six samples, two males and one female, submitted to us in August have tested positive. These patients had been to Andhra recently,' said NICD Director Dr. Shiv Lal.

'We had cases of what appeared to be patients with Chikungunya fever coming in for treatment and samples of the same were dispatched to NICD. Chikungunya fever is a rare form of viral disease characterised by fever, joint pains and is spread by Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes. Chikungunya is characterised by high fever (101F-104F), headache, and vomiting and joint pains in the wrist, knees and ankles. Swollen and painful joints are characteristic of this disease. After an incubation period of 3-12 days there is a sudden onset of flu-like symptoms. A rash may sometimes occur. Haemorrhage is rare and all but a few patients recover within 3-5 days. Some can suffer from joint pain for months. Children may display neurological symptoms,' said Heart Care Foundation of India president, Dr. K. K. Aggarwal.

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