After a Span of Four Decades Chikungunya Returns to Kolkata

by VR Sreeraman on Aug 7 2007 7:46 PM

Chikungunya, a form of viral fever spread by the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, has returned to Kolkata after 44 years with at least three people here testing positive for the virus that causes the disease.

The virus was found Monday in three of five blood samples collected from central Kolkata and Beliaghata area, health officials said. The disease was detected in North 24-Parganas district near Kolkata last October but did not spread to the city.

Health officials said 31 samples collected from Kolkata and Habra in North 24-Parganas were sent to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) here for tests.

'Altogether, 26 samples, including three from Kolkata have tested positive,' an official said.

The common symptoms of Chikungunya are joint pain, headache, fever and rashes on limbs.

According to local media reports, this year about 500 people in Habra's wards 13 and 16 and their neighbourhoods have been showing symptoms of Chikungunya for over a month but do not need to be hospitalised.

About 200 people died of Chikungunya when it last hit the city in 1963, according to local reports quoting old medical journals.