More than 100 suspected cases of chickungunya have been reported in Kothra village of Nandod taluka,Narmada district recently. The district health authorities had sent blood samples of five individuals for further tests at the B J Medical College in Ahmedabad,of which two cases have tested positive.
Chickungunya cases were first reported on March 6. Narmada district health officials said the disease had spread across Dabhoi taluka in Vadodara district.
Pradeep Prajapati,Joint Director of Malaria programme in Gujarat,who visited the village,said: The chikungunya virus is endemic in the state and sporadic cases have been reported from some places.
When Newsline tried to inquire more about the situation,Prajapati refused to comment. Narmada Chief District Health Officer Dr Appu Rao said: The health officials first came to know about the case on March 6. Then the cases were taken to the Primary Health Centre (PHC) at Jesalpur. There could be two reasons for the spread of the disease: one due to the extensive breeding of the Aedis Egypti mosquitoes in the utensils used to feed livestock. Secondly,the virus could have spread from the neighbouring villages.
He added that nearly 15 people from Dabhoi,Vadodara district,visited Kothra village in February for a religious meet and might have carried the virus,which has now spread.
Meanwhile,Vadodara health authorities denied having any reports on the outbreak across the district.
The district health authorities had carried out health inspection in Savli and Dabhoi talukas on Friday. Blood samples of all the fever cases were collected for further tests for chikungunya and other vector borne diseases.
Dr Rao refused to divulge further details about two confirmed cases of chickungunya. He said: We have started anti-larval activities,and are also spreading information in the area.
Symptoms of the disease
* Fever up to 40 °C (104 °F)
* A petechial or maculopapular rash of the trunk
* Arthralgia or arthritis affecting multiple joints
* Joint pain depends on age
* Intense headache,insomnia and an extreme degree of prostration
* The most effective means of prevention are protection against contact with the disease-carrying mosquitoes and mosquito control
* Wearing bite-proof long sleeves and trousers (pants) also offers protection
* Use insect repellents
* Securing screens on windows and doors will help to keep mosquitoes out of the house