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Chikungunya Disease Kills 96 In India's Kerala State

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Chikungunya disease

A total of 96 people have died of the mosquito-bourne Chikungunya disease in India's southern Kerala state, news reports said on Sunday. Five more deaths were reported on Saturday from the worst-hit Alappuzha district, a prime tourism destination for its backwaters, the Hindustan Times newspaper reported.

'Chikungunya has come back to Kerala after 30 years,' PA Joshi, director of the National Vector Control Programme, was quoted as saying. The outbreak of the viral disease was first detected in the state in July.

More than 100,000 people were reported to have been affected in Kerala, most of them in Alappuzha district, federal Health Ministry officials said.

Cases of chikungunya had also been reported from national capital Delhi, the northern state of Rajasthan and eastern West Bengal.

Meanwhile, the current outbreak of dengue, another mosquito-bourne disease, spread across the country with over 3,000 cases reported from 12 of India's 29 states.

More than 45 people have died of dengue so far, 21 of them in Delhi alone.

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More than 800 patients with symptoms of the disease have been admitted to Delhi hospitals and the local government has appealed for donations of blood.

Both chikungunya and dengue are marked by high fever, rashes and joint pains. Extreme cases of dengue require blood transfusion.

Both diseases are carried by the Aedes aegypti mosquito and usually occur in India after the monsoon rains June to September.

Health officials said the diseases peak in October, and warned that the worst may not be over yet.

Reprinted with proper attribution from khajeejtimes.com

What is chikungunya fever?
Chikungunya fever is a viral disease transmitted to humans by the bite of infected mosquitoes. Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a member of the genus Alphavirus, in the family Togaviridae. CHIKV was first isolated from the blood of a febrile patient in Tanzania in 1953, and has since been identified repeatedly in west, central and southern Africa and many areas of Asia, and has been cited as the cause of numerous human epidemics in those areas since that time. The virus circulates throughout much of Africa, with transmission thought to occur mainly between mosquitoes and monkeys.

What type of illness does chikungunya virus cause?
CHIKV infection can cause a debilitating illness, most often characterized by fever, headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, muscle pain, rash, and joint pain.