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IMA calls for study into chikungunya epidemic

Staff Reporter

Suggests that agent is chikungunya virus


Mortality rate normally recorded during the monsoon season not altered

Co-infections, skin manifestations and neuro complications of the disease evident


Thiruvananthapuram: The Indian Medical Associationc (IMA) has called for more comprehensive studies on the clinical manifestations and complications of chikungunya, considering the changing pattern and virulence of the disease in the current epidemic.

The viral fever epidemic this year reported chikungunya, dengue and seasonal viral fever cases, which had caused much confusion among the public as well as the medical fraternity on the causative agent. However, studies conducted by the epidemic cell of IMA suggest that the predominant agent of the current epidemic is indeed chikungunya virus, IMA officials said.

Complications

Even though chikungunya epidemic has not altered or increased the mortality rate that is normally recorded during the monsoon season, this year’s picture of the epidemic is totally different from last years. Co-infections, skin manifestations and neuro complications of the disease has been especially evident in the current epidemic, which calls for more viral studies, IMA has pointed out.

Study in six districts

The epidemic cell of IMA made these recommendations after conducting a study on the current fever epidemic in six districts, based on an analysis of fever reports collected from over 200 doctors in the Government and private sector.

Intense measures

It has also recommended intensive round-the-year mosquito control measures to prevent recurring episodes of chikungunya and other vector-borne infectious diseases.

Even though chikungunya epidemic is finally showing signs of waning, vector control measures, especially anti-larval measures, should be intensified in the coming days so that another outbreak of infectious diseases does not happen with the arrival of the North-East monsoon.

Arthralgia

Another recommendation that IMA has made relates to treatment of arthralgia in those diagnosed or suspected to be having chikungunya. Persistent arthralgia after chikungunya has been a major health concern, for which proper treatment protocols have to be evolved.

A research team of the IMA will conduct further studies on chikungunya.

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