Re-emergence of chikungunya infection in parts of India causes public health threat

Chikungunya virus, which can cause severe morbidity, has re-emerged in certain geographic regions of India. The rates of infection are highest in South India, moderate in the Western region, and uncommon in North India.

Keys to diagnosis:

  • Fever for up to 7 days
  • Rashes, joint pain and swelling, vomiting, and abdominal pain
  • Rates are higher during the monsoon season when there is high breeding of the Aedes mosquito that transmits the virus
Key Point: Chikungunya infection, which is re-emerging in India, is a concern especially in South India and moderately so in West India. Patients who present with a fever and other symptoms such as joint pain and swelling, rash, vomiting, and abdominal pain, should be tested for the virus. Patients should be counseled about prevention through mosquito control and protection, especially during the monsoon season.

In what appears to be the first multi-center epidemiologic study of chikungunya fever in 3 geographic regions of India (East India was not included), researchers studied a diverse age group of patients from June 2008 to May 2009. The virus was confirmed through genomic and serology-based assays.

No vaccine exists to protect against chikungunya infection, which can cause fever and joint pains as well as...

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This entry was posted in Infectious Disease, Primary Care and tagged , , , , , , , . Volume: .

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