Panic gripped Kural village in Orissa's Nayagarh district after four persons died due from suspected chikungunya in the past four days, a health official told Sunday.
The dead have been identified as Sibaram Das, Mochi Patra, Aparti Sahu, and Ghanashyam Panda. They were among the 642 persons affected by the disease in the village, nearly 120 km from Bhubaneswar.
The village is the biggest in Nayagarh district and has a population of around 8,000. "The disease spread to other villagers only due to negligence on the part of health officials who didn't bother when the first case was reported," alleged Lokanath Sahu, chairman of Odagaon block.
"The cases are increasing day by day. All the affected persons are suffering from high fever and severe pain in limbs and joints," Bijay Paikray, Sarpanch of Kural gram panchayat told IANS.
"We were under the impression that the disease will not lead to death. But we are shocked by the incident (death of the four persons). The problem of lack of proper food and care is being faced by the affected," he added.
A team of specialists from Bhubaneswar visited the village Saturday.
"We have found the aedes mosquitoes in the locality. The mosquito is the carrier of chikungunya and dengue. So from the symptoms of the disease the possible outbreak of chikungunya can't be ruled out," B Nageswar Rao, chief of the specialist team, told IANS.
"Orissa does not have adequate testing facilities. Serum has been collected from 51 patients and sent to National Institute of Virology, Pune for tests," he added.