PRO/SOAS> Vector borne diseases – India (05): (Maharashtra)


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International Society for Infectious Diseases

[1] Date: Tue 1 Aug 2023 6:01 p.m. IST
Source: Mid-day [edited]

Mumbai has witnessed a marginal increase in chikungunya cases compared
to June [2023], a report said.

In July [2023], Mumbai reported 24 cases of chikungunya, a
mosquito-borne disease commonly seen during the monsoon. This marked
an increase from the 8 cases reported in June [2023]. Chikungunya is
spread by the bite of female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are
also responsible for transmitting dengue fever.

The health experts stated that the chikungunya virus causes this
disease, and the common symptoms are fever, body aches, persistent
joint pains, and skin rashes.

Dr Paritosh Baghel, senior consultant – Internal Medicine at SL Raheja
Hospital, Mahim, said, “As compared to last year, there has been no
unexpected increase in the number of cases as of now. Therefore, in
order to prevent chikungunya, one should take steps to prevent
mosquito bites by wearing full-sleeved clothes, applying
mosquito-repellent creams, and using mosquito nets, etc.”

Dr Baghel said that Aedes aegypti mosquitoes breed in stagnant fresh
water such as pots and tyres, so emptying such collected water is a
good way to prevent the spread of chikungunya.

“We are witnessing a rise in the cases of chikungunya and dengue, but
the numbers are not alarming as of now. Most patients with chikungunya
get better in terms of the fever within about a week’s time. However,
the body ache, pains, and arthritis that are seen post-chikungunya can
last for a couple of weeks or months,” said Dr Anita Mathew,
infectious disease specialist, Fortis Hospital, Mulund.

The report also revealed that in 2022, only 2 chikungunya cases were
reported in July.

“There is no vaccine for chikungunya as of now, and it is a
self-limiting illness. A majority of patients get better without
medication, just with symptomatic treatment,” added Dr Mathew.

According to the monsoon report released by Brihanmumbai Municipal
Corporation (BMC), compared to last month [June 2023] there has been
no increase in water-borne diseases, but there has been an increase in
vector-borne diseases. Most of the cases are mild and are being
treated at outpatient clinics.

Besides chikungunya, Mumbai also reported 721 malaria cases and 579
dengue cases in July [2023].

In June this year [2023], Mumbai reported 676 malaria cases and 353
dengue cases.

“To prevent the breeding of mosquitoes, the workplace, residence, and
surroundings must be kept clean. Mosquito larvae live in standing
water. The larvae require only minimal amounts of water, and even
something as small as a puddle of water on a discarded plastic
container can house them, as can odd articles such as tins, thermocol
boxes, coconut shells, and tires, which must be removed. Maintain
cleanliness around houses,” Mumbai’s civic body BMC said in an

[Byline: Anagha Sawant]

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