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Monday, December 20, 2010

India : Chikungunya could be fatal, indicates study

Via Deccan Herald :

" Chikungunya, considered to be a non-fatal vector-borne disease, may actually lead to death. This is indicated by a study condu-cted in Ahmedabad, based on 3,000 deaths that occurred during the peak of disease outbreak in Gujarat in 2006.

The study conducted by the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A) gathered data from the health department, municipal hospitals and health centres and the registrar, births and deaths, of Ahmedabad.The data pointed to the fact that compared to the expected deaths per month in previous years, excess deaths were noticed during the period when chikungunya outbreak was at the peak.

This despite the fact that the official report indicated 1.39 million cases of chikungunya in the country in the same year, with no deaths.The study holds relevance to Karnataka, since 7,62,026 people were suspected to have had chikungunya in 2006.

“The districts in the north and south of the State were struck by the chikungunya epidemic in 2006-07. In 2008, however, we saw newer districts that had not been affected earlier falling prey to the epidemic like Udupi and Dakshina Kannada. But chikungunya has not caused deaths, till now,” said Dr T S Cheluvaraju, joint director (communicable diseases), health department.

However, he admitted that chikungunya could prove fatal to those suffering from comorbid conditions."

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